The latter cases – those involving exceedingly high blood-alcohol levels (“BAC”) and, often, motor vehicle accidents – typically dominate the headlines, just as they have recently in Washington. The following recent cases are certainly noteworthy at the moment.
A 17-year-old girl hit a guardrail on I-5 in Federal Way, and continued to try to get home after puncturing her tire. The car became disabled, and she initially told police officers she had simply fallen asleep while driving. Her BAC was .084, four times the legal limit for a minor.
A 50-year-old man hit another vehicle and left the scene. The lower of BAC readings from two tests administered on him was 0.326, more than four times the legal limit and a level described by the State Patrol as “nearly fatal.”
A 57-year-old Burien man’s BAC was .102. He was stopped with his three-year-old son riding in the back seat.
Many DUI cases are featuring in the news these days, especially in conjunction with high-publicity enforcement campaigns that are ongoing (we have mentioned, for example, the “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” and “Target Zero” initiatives).
The effort to combat drunk driving and the sometimes tragic results associated with it is more than commendable; it is imperative on our increasingly busy roadways. At the same time, though, drivers arrested and charged with a DUI violation have legal rights and a strong need for representation as they face the criminal justice system. There are sometimes extenuating – or exonerating – circumstances related to a DUI stop/arrest, and a just and proper outcome is in everyone’s best interests.