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Understanding Washington's field sobriety tests: Part II

In our last post, we began a discussion about field sobriety tests.

Police in Washington state typically use the three tests recommended by the NHTSA, including the One-Leg Stand test we wrote about in our previous post. The other two tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test and the Walk-and-Turn test.

Understanding Washington's field sobriety tests: Part I

We have previously written that police officers need to go "by the book" when it comes to traffic stops and drunk-driving arrests. Every part of the encounter is important, from the initial stop to the field sobriety tests to the blood-alcohol-concentration tests to the arrest itself. If the officer makes a mistake or violates a suspect's rights during any of these, it could undermine the DUI case later on.

Assuming that the officer has lawfully made the traffic stop and suspects drunk driving, the next step is to ask the suspect to participate in field sobriety tests. We'll discuss three of the most common FSTs in this week's posts.

Fighting your DUI charges, part II: Initial steps

Earlier this week, we began a discussion about the first steps you'll likely need to take when responding to drunk-driving charges. This includes hiring an attorney who is highly experienced in DUI defense.

Once you have done this, your attorney will guide you through the next steps, one of which is (often) fighting a driver's license suspension. The Washington State Department of Licensing handles DUI-related suspensions, and you'll have just 20 days from the time of arrest to request an administrative hearing.

Fighting your DUI charges, part I: Choosing an attorney

A couple weeks ago, we discussed the steps Washington drivers need to take after a drunk-driving arrest if they want to keep their license. Although a driver's license suspension is common in the wake of a DUI arrest, it is a matter separate from the criminal case and must be addressed in an administrative hearing with the Department of Licensing.

Fighting a driver's license suspension is a time-sensitive issue, so you'll want to discuss it with your criminal defense attorney right away. But what other issues should you be discussing with your attorney? For that matter, how do you go about choosing the right attorney for your DUI case?

Ignition interlock devices and respiratory problems

Ignition interlock devices are becoming standard equipment for drivers convicted of certain drunk driving offenses. All 50 states use IIDs as a punishment, as a drunk-driving deterrent and sometimes as a condition of reinstating a person's driver's license. While these devices are used nationwide, states have different laws and policies regarding when they are required. You can read about Washington state's DUI penalties here.

IIDs are an effective way to help convicted DUI offenders keep driving while making sure that they don't drive drunk. Unfortunately, the devices don't work for everyone, especially those with respiratory issues.

Survey: Alcohol DUI is down but drugged driving is on the rise

While drunk driving is known to be a common problem, it is difficult to measure or accurately predict how prevalent the behavior is. Advocacy groups often pull statistics on alcohol-related crashes and drunk-driving arrest rates, but these data do not definitively reveal how many motorists are driving under the influence on U.S. roads and highways.

Government regulators like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also try to gather drunk driving statistics, but they do so in a unique way. Every eight years or so, the NHTSA conducts its anonymous "roadside survey." According to the most recent survey's results, drunk driving rates appear to be declining, while drugged driving is up - especially drivers with marijuana in their system.

You must act fast to keep your license after DUI arrest: Part II

Earlier this week, began a discussion about driver's license suspension following an arrest for driving under the influence. Many DUI defendants assume that license suspension or revocation will be addressed at or after their criminal trial, but this isn't the case.

Instead, driver's license suspension is handled at a separate, administrative hearing with the Washington State Department of Licensing. You have just 20 days from when you were arrested to request a hearing with the DOL. If you fail to request the hearing within that time period, your license will likely be automatically suspended due to your DUI arrest.

You must act fast to keep your license after DUI arrest: Part I

If you have just been arrested for driving under the influence, your mind may be reeling with worry over the "what-ifs" in your future. What if I get convicted and have to pay hefty fines? What if I have to serve jail time? What if I lose my job?

These are all important issues, and are all good reasons why you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. But in worrying about these problems, many DUI defendants overlook the immediate threat of license suspension. Most people fail to realize that in addition to a DUI criminal case, they also face a license suspension hearing with the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Police unhappy about popular traffic information app

There has long been a complicated relationship between consumer technology and law enforcement. Traffic stops are a good example. When police officers are on traffic patrol, they often use radar guns or lasers to measure the speed of passing drivers. Those driving above the speed limit can be pulled over. Citizens trying to stay one step ahead sometimes use radar/laser detection systems to learn where officers may be stationed. In theory, they can get an early warning about police presence and slow down or change routes accordingly.

Social media and cellphone apps have taken citizen countermeasures a step further. Apps that warn drivers about the location of speed traps, DUI checkpoints, red-light cameras and other law enforcement actions have been controversial. And one of the most popular new apps called “Waze” is stirring up even more controversy than usual.

The DUI arrest risks facing Washington football fans this weekend

For the second year in a row, the Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. Football fans across the state of Washington will be glued to television sets this Sunday to see if the Seahawks can bring home another win.

Whether you are hosting a Super Bowl party, attending one or heading out to watch the game at a sports bar, you may want to plan your transportation carefully. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest drinking days of the year, which means that law enforcement agencies will be out in full force looking to catch drunk drivers.

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