DUI (Driving Under the Influence)

Being arrested for and charged with a DUI can be a life-altering experience. The embarrassment, expense and inconvenience of the criminal charge can be a heavy burden for the average person to bear. Frequently, it will impact employment, family, reputation, future job prospects and even security clearances. We understand that the outcome of a criminal case can have ramifications on a person’s life that are much longer in duration than any sentence. In every case, our goal is to mitigate the immediate and long-term damage for our client.

Administrative Issues

In Washington, a DUI charge can be a bit complicated. DUI charges are not just handled in the criminal court. The Department of Licensing will also take action to suspend your license. Either entity (criminal court or DOL-civil) has the authority to suspend a person’s privilege to drive. Matters get worse if an accused person already has a DUI on their record, or if the person has a CDL. We handle both sides of the equation and often handle complex cases where an individual has prior convictions, has refused the test, or is under 21 years of age. We are also licensed to practice in the Federal District Court, which means we handle DUI cases that originate from any of the area’s Military bases.

DUI Below .08 Standard

In addition to the standard DUI, Washington law enforcement has been pursuing DUI arrests when the driver is below the .08 limit. This often confuses drivers who are arrested and learn that they tested well below the .08 standard. They assume an attorney is not needed because the case will be dropped when they appear before a judge. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. In truth, the DUI statute (RCW 46.61.502) has always given the State the authority to pursue charges against a defendant who is below .08, but that option was rarely used by law enforcement. In recent years, these arrests are increasing in number. Essentially, the arresting officer has determined by subjective standards that you are “impaired” under the statute. The .08 measurement is really a standard with no meaning. As long as an officer can use the “impaired” portion of the statute, you can be arrested for DUI regardless of your breathalyzer reading.

Prescription Medication DUI

Washington State has more than doubled its number of Drug Recognition Experts, or “DREs” in recent years. It is important to understand that a medicine prescribed by a physician, and used in accordance with the prescription, can lead to an arrest for DUI. The lack of knowledge is not a defense and many people are prosecuted due to prescription medications and sleeping aids.

Call Early in the Process

We want to help you at the earliest moment in the process. Call us from the roadside and we can assist you in making important decisions that will impact your case. Many of the case-altering decisions will be made on the spot and under tremendous stress. Rarely does someone plan to drive under the influence but, unfortunately, mistakes are sometimes made. Keep our phone number in your cell phone and ask the officer if you can make a call. We answer our phones day and night.