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16.6 million Americans suffer from an alcohol use disorder

If you are at least 21 years old, consuming alcohol in Washington is legal. In fact, beer and liquor is a staple at many personal and professional social gatherings. Friends may toast to an engagement. Co-workers unwind at happy hour after a stressful day at work. Executives discuss major business deals over drinks.

These events can be very stressful if you are struggling with alcohol abuse or dependency. If you are, you are not alone. According to 2013 data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 16.6 million adults aged 18 or older have an alcohol use disorder.

Vancouver company plans to release first breath test for pot

Societal views toward marijuana are changing. Our neighbor to the south was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Even if you got high in Portland legally, once you get in your car and drive back across the Columbia River to Vancouver, you can be charged with DUI. Under RCW 46.61.502, it is a crime to drive while under the influence of marijuana.

When patrol officers suspect impairment due to alcohol, they can pull out their portable breath test and take a reading. A test result showing that a driver’s blood alcohol content measured above .08 percent helps support their claim for probable cause. This is not quite as easy when it comes to marijuana. Until now?

What is an Ignition Interlock Driver License? Can I get one?

The Washington State Department of Licensing can suspend or revoke your driver’s license if an officer arrests you for drunk driving even if a court does not convict you of DUI. Losing your driving privileges can make life difficult.

Many people worry about how they will get to and from their jobs timely every day. Even if they know they made a mistake, being unable to drive can affect their livelihood. It can impact their ability to earn the income they and their family needs. Does a license suspension mean absolutely no driving at all?

Infographic: How reliable are Breathalyzer tests?

Police use Breathalyzer devices in traffic stops to establish probable cause necessary to arrest drivers they suspect are impaired. Prosecutors frequently rely on the breath test results to prove their case for DUI charges against the driver.

While it is only a circumstantial piece of evidence, the blood alcohol content result holds a lot of weight. Breathalyzer tests display results down to the decimal point. It can make them seem very scientific, and it is easy to assume the results are cold hard fact. When drivers' register above .08 percent on the Breathalyzer test, it can even make them assume that the charges are not worth fighting.

Do not let a bad test result prevent you from talking to an attorney if police in Vancouver arrest you for suspicion of drunk driving. The machines and the results are not as reliable as you may believe. Look at the infographic below to learn more about Breathalyzers.

A good DUI defense is about more than the facts

Getting pulled over is rarely a fun experience. It can be very frightening and overwhelming. Drivers may worry about getting a traffic ticket, having their license suspended or being charged with a DUI. Drivers these days are worried about more than just the criminal or administrative license issues.

Many drivers have become increasingly worried about their safety. There have been reports and news stories about people who have impersonated officers in a traffic stop. In some areas, government officials have even issued warnings about this potential danger. Earlier this month, a young man was charged with fleeing police or evading arrest when he tried to pull over in a well-lit area instead of alongside a dark road.

Can a DUI affect your ability to drive your ATV?

All-terrain vehicles provide both utility and recreational benefits, which is probably why they are popular with many people who live in Washington State. If you own one, you can even drive them on many public roads, streets and highways. That is, of course, if you first obtain the necessary licensing from the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL).

In order to obtain a valid license tag, your vehicle must meet certain criteria. This includes having the appropriate head lamp, tail lamp, reflectors, working brakes, handlebar mirrors and a horn or warning device, among other things. Your vehicle is not the only thing that the DOL must license.

The 4 most important sentences to remember during a DUI arrest

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you."Thumbnail image for Miranda Rights.png Most drivers can recite these words, but it is crucial that you understand their significance if you are arrested for drunk driving.

These four sentences are collectively referred to as your Miranda Rights or the Miranda Warning. The name stems from the historic case of Miranda v. Arizona. The Supreme Court of the United States decided the case in 1966, but the rights existed long before.

5 Tips for staying safe this Fourth of July weekend

It is that time of year again, when we say happy birthday to our great country. Fireworks will light up the sky at night. The American flag will be seen on houses and lining city streets. Many people across the nation will be celebrating Friday and Saturday night, and many of these celebrations will involve the consumption of alcohol.

There is certainly nothing wrong with having a few beers or glasses of wine this Fourth of July, but we want to remind our readers to stay safe while traveling. Here are a few tips to keep everyone safe, and help avoid a drunk driving charge.

Do you have to blow over a .08 BAC to be charged with DUI?

Under Washington law, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent is a crime. If you have had a couple drinks at a restaurant or at a friend’s house, you might feel like you can drive safely but worry about getting a DUI.

Without a breath or blood test, it is often very difficult to judge when you have reached the threshold limit. On any given day, it might take more or less alcohol for your BAC to reach .08 percent depending on many factors, including the amount of food you ate. But is a .08 BAC the only basis for a DUI?

Understanding 'fruit of the poisonous tree' in criminal courts

When criminal defense attorneys prepare for a case, they do much more than study the evidence police and prosecutors plan to use against the defendant. There is another very important part of this process, and that involves looking at how they collected the evidence.

The Fourth Amendment protects our right to privacy, to be free of intrusion from the government into our lives. This means that police must have a legitimate reason or excuse to search you, your home or your business. When they want to search your home for evidence of a crime, they must have probable cause to suspect that one was actually committed.

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