Gifts From The Washington Legislature. Sorry, But You Can’t Return These Gifts. 

Every year, the legislature throws a few curve balls when it comes to criminal and civil penalties. This year is no exception!

3 speeding tickets or other moving violation tickets will mean your drivers license is suspended.
Attorney Ryan Witt
Witt Law Group

Driver License Suspension for 3 Tickets!

We wanted to call your attention to one change that is likely to impact a very significant number of Washingtonians. The legislature has decided that moving violations (infractions/tickets) should “sting” even more. 

In their wisdom. they’ve decided to suspend the driving privilege of anyone who receives 3 moving violations in one year or 4 moving violations in a two year span. Also, be aware that the Washington Department of Licensing will be counting all out of state infractions in this calculation!

If you meet the requisite number of tickets, you will be suspended for 60 days and there will be hoops you need to jump through to get your driving privilege back (SR 22 insurance and a Defensive Driving class). Moral of the story is to AVOID being found “committed” on all moving violations!

We handle most Kitsap County area tickets but we will refer you to expert defense if you receive a ticket outside of Kitsap. For those who plan to “fight” their own tickets, be very careful about that plan with the current law change. Unlike many courts around the state, Kitsap County and municipalities in the area staff their infraction courts with a prosecutor. So, if you’re going it alone, you really need to know your evidence rules and proper defenses!

Here is a practical summary from Department of Licensing.

DUI = Firearm restrictions

Hopefully, this change won’t impact many of you. The legislature has decided to create a firearm restriction for individuals who are convicted of a DUI or alcohol/drug-related driving offense two times within seven years.

The restriction on your ability to own or possess a firearm will occur even if one or both charges were reduced to lesser charge, resolved through a PDA or SOC, or one was dismissed through a deferred prosecution. There are no exceptions and, even if you are in the military or law enforcement, there is not an option to retain your firearm privileges. So, in case there weren’t enough reasons to avoid driving impaired, add a loss of your firearm rights to the list!

Relevant law: New Washington law effective July 23, 2023:

https://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2023-24/Pdf/Bills/Session%20Laws/House/1562-S.SL.pdf

DUI Reminder: MANY People Are Prosecuted For BAC Results Below An .08!

As a side note, people who have never been arrested for DUI often think a DUI arrest is the result of “drunk” driving. In fact, every month, we represent clients who are far from impaired under the law in Washington. We have numerous clients who had BAC results below .05 or THC levels that would not indicate impairment yet the person met the per se state standards. 

Additionally, many people use marijuana in the evening for pain, nausea or other medical conditions and do not realize that, with daily use, they are very likely over the legal THC limit when they drive the next day. We cannot emphasize enough that the prosecution does NOT have to prove impairment. Even on alcohol-related DUI charges, you do NOT need to be at or over an .08 BAC to be aggressively prosecuted. 

We have two prongs in the statute and it allows the prosecutor to use other evidence to show you were “affected by (substance)….to an appreciable degree.” This is not tough to do. DUI trials are fairly easy for prosecutors in the state of Washington.

Keep this all in mind when you decide to have a glass of wine or beer with your holiday meal. You cannot assume that because your BAC is likely below an .08 that you can avoid being arrested and criminally charged.

Again, we have numerous clients every year who face aggressive prosecution for .04 to .07 BAC results. And, we see this more in Kitsap County. So, if you really want to partake in alcoholic beverages, please have a “non-drinker” (100% obtaining from alcohol or THC) drive you home.

We are here 7 days a week to take your calls but we would prefer it if you don’t need us! We hope you enjoy your holiday and Santa treats you right!

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