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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog

Facing a felony DUI charge? We have the experience to help

Understandably, being arrested for a DUI can be a frightening and overwhelming ordeal. Dealing with license suspensions, possible hearings for driving privileges and other legalities can begin to wreak havoc on an individual's life. Those facing a felony DUI charge may have even more on their mind than those who face a misdemeanor charge.

Even for a first time DUI offense in Washington, penalties can be steep should a conviction be obtained. Offenders may face up to a year in jail on top of a hefty $1,000 fine, as well as a mandatory ignition interlock device. Those who registered a blood alcohol concentration higher than .15 percent may also have to serve a year behind bars, and the fine can skyrocket up to $5,000. A second or third DUI conviction can result in even longer sentences, higher fines.

Elderly Washington man accused of DUI after head-on wreck

A head-on wreck that Washington police reported as serious did not include any fatalities, and only one individual suffered injuries. One individual was arrested following the accident. According to authorities, he was charged with a DUI following suspicions that he may have been inebriated at the time of the wreck. He also faces an additional charge.

Although it's not clear why, an 86-year-old man became turned around while traveling on I-5. Unfortunately, this resulted in him driving north while in the southbound lanes. Apparently unable to avoid a collision, he struck another vehicle, causing serious damage to both cars. At some point, a third vehicle was also involved, although it sustained significantly less damage than the other two.

Consequences of a DUI could be steep for Washington woman

A Washington woman has been accused of driving under the influence after a multi-vehicle wreck at an intersection. As the wreck apparently resulted in a police officer's injury, she will likely have to contend with significant consequences of a DUI if convicted. No one else was hurt in the collision.

At the time of the incident, an on-duty police officer was waiting for an opportunity to complete a left hand turn when another driver allegedly blew through a red light. Police state that the 40-year-old driver then struck the officer's vehicle and proceeded through the intersection. Ultimately, it struck one other car before coming to a stop. 

Driver could face Felony DUI charges for Halloween wreck

Washington police report that one child died in a pedestrian wreck on Halloween. The driver whose vehicle struck the group was arrested, although he had to be transported to the hospital. The plan is for the man to be booked into the local jail on four vehicular assault counts once he is discharged. The driver apparently appeared intoxicated, and it remains to be seen if he will be charged with Felony DUI on top of the existing charges.

A group of four people, including two children, were out trick-or-treating when the wreck occurred. While walking on the sidewalk, witnesses report that a nearby vehicle on the road lost control and drove onto the sidewalk, striking the group. Although taken to the hospital for her injuries, a 7-year-old girl died.

Washington drivers to see new Breathalyzer test soon

When a driver is asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test, they may be under the impression that they are blowing into an up-to-date, advanced piece of technology. For Washington drivers, this may not be so. Although determining a driver's blood alcohol content is usually a huge factor in charging an individual with a DUI, police have been using the same Breathalyzer test for roughly 30 years.

As most people know, technology has rapidly progressed in the past three decades, rendering many once-revolutionary products obsolete. For instance, the new Breathalyzer device relies on what's called a dry gas technique, rather than the liquid solution that the old devices use. The new technique apparently requires fewer calibrations as well as less frequent maintenance.

4 die in Washington wreck, driver could face stiff DUI penalties

Every individual behind the wheel of a vehicle is a human being, and sadly, human beings are capable of making honest mistakes that can have serious implications. Although the actual cause of the wreck is uncertain, a tragic accident recently resulted in the death of four people. The driver who survived may have to face stiff DUI penalties should a conviction ultimately be obtained.

Six people were involved in the single-vehicle accident, but Washington police aren't certain if two individuals were even in the vehicle when it collided with a power pole. They point to the only vehicle involved in the wreck -- a sports car that ideally only holds about four people at a time. Unless some passengers doubled up by sitting in someone's lap, two of those killed were likely pedestrians.

Washington police suspect drunk driving, but no charges filed yet

A multi-vehicle collision only left two people injured on Washington Interstate 90. Although no DUI charges have been filed, state police do suspect that alcohol may have had something to do with the cause of the wreck. Though not facing drunk driving charges, the driver that apparently caused the wreck is facing criminal charges.

Police report that a 23-year-old driver was likely driving at an inappropriate speed for road conditions at the time. After losing control of her vehicle, the car spun around and then stopped while facing oncoming traffic. A vehicle had to veer away to avoid a collision, but in doing so hit a third car.

Thousands of vehicles impounded after DUI arrests

A driver may not be the only one who ends up behind bars for drunk driving. Three years ago Washington enacted a law that requires a car to be towed and impounded if the driver is arrested for a DUI. Apparently, 2014 is shaping up to be a year with an exceptional number of cars impounded.

Some individuals may be wondering why such an extreme law was enacted in the first place. The law was originally made in response to an alleged drunk driver who drove her vehicle after being arrested but not booked and caused a serious wreck. Unfortunately, this means that even those who have a friend who can come pick up their vehicle will still have it impounded.

Field sobriety tests aren't that great for determining a DUI

Unlike a Breathalyzer or blood test, field sobriety tests do not fall under the implied consent law in Washington. While some drivers may feel that refusing to comply with an officer's request to complete a field sobriety test might indicate guilt even if there is none, this is not necessarily always the case. Additionally, there is a fair amount of skepticism over whether these types of tests are even accurate for determining intoxication for a DUI charge. 

Even though the various field sobriety tests are somewhat standardized, an officer's interpretation of a driver's ability to complete them is not. These tests are highly subject to a police officer's personal opinion, and even two very minor mistakes may give some an adequate cause for arrest. The three different tests that comprise the field sobriety test are the walk and turn, the one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze.

Woman crashes car, faces drunk driving charges in Washington

People make mistakes all the time. Some mistakes have minimal consequences, although there are many bad choices which result in serious repercussions. One of these bad choices is deciding to drive a vehicle after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. One woman is now facing drunk driving charges in Washington after a recent accident.

The 46-year-old was recently arrested after a Washington State Patrol trooper found the woman's car at approximately 8:10 a.m. in early October. The car had been disabled after crashing into a concrete barrier. The state trooper reported that the driver showed signs of impairment. Allegedly, the woman believed she had still been driving although the vehicle had two flat tires and was completely stopped.

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