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Clark County DUI / DWI Law Blog

How cause of death on death certificate could affect DUI laws

In states across the nation, including here in Washington, the legal blood-alcohol limit is .08. Currently, this is considered the safe limit for the amount of alcohol that can be present in a person's system before they are considered a danger to other motorists. But some state and local authorities, and even the National Transportation Safety Board, believe that this limit should be lowered to .05 so as to decrease the number of drunk-driving accidents.

But some experts say that the reason new drunk driving laws have not been passed is because of a missing piece of crucial information: what percent of drunk drivers who are killed in traffic accidents are considered legally drunk? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, that number is 21 percent; but according to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, that number is actually closer to 3 percent.

Bellevue officer fired for not arresting fellow cop in DUI stop

Many people think that the only people who are affected by a drunk driving stop are the people who are actually being pulled over. But as a case out of Bellevue will show you, sometimes it’s the officer that can be affected as well.

For those who may not have heard, the case we’re talking about involves two officers from the Bellevue Police Department in northern Washington. According to reports, one of the officers from the police department pulled over a vehicle last November on suspicion of a DUI. Instead of a civilian though, the officer saw that the driver was a fellow officer who was off-duty at the time of the stop.

What can happen to an LGBT person accused of domestic violence?

When most people think about domestic violence, they often think about a heterosexual couple where one spouse is physically or verbally assaulting the other. But as actress Kathy Najimy is expected to point out in a speech at an upcoming fundraiser, domestic violence can happen in any household, including in the LGBT community.

As many of our Vancouver readers already know, accusations of domestic abuse can have a significant impact on your life. And if children are part of the equation, situations can become that much more problematic and may even require legal intervention. This is true for couples who are gay or lesbian as well.

Police still not releasing much about DUI arrest of commander

Details surrounding the arrest of a commander from the Mountlake Terrace police department are still being kept to a minimum despite the fact that two months has already passed by. But as some of our readers know from personal experience, this might be a good thing, especially because too much in the media can often lead to negative stigmas even if no conviction is made.

What we do know about the case is that the commander was pulled over around 1:30 a.m. on February 1. Although he was arrested for drunk driving, reports do not indicate whether a field sobriety test was administered or if a Breathalyzer was conducted prior to arrest. Because of this absence of information, many people across the state of Washington, including some here in Clark County, may be wondering if police really had grounds to charge the commander with DUI in the first place.

Washington man found passed out near drive-thru faces DUI charges

Even before Spokane Valley sheriff’s deputies arrested a 34-year-old Washington man near a Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru, police say he was already in trouble with the law. That’s because, according to police, the man already had several drunk-driving convictions on his record. And it’s because of these previous DUIs that a new DUI charge could have escalated penalties.

Washington police found the man unconscious at the wheel of a running but parked vehicle. According to police, a field sobriety test was administered after waking the man. But after allegedly witnessing poor balance, slurred speech and other behaviors that indicated intoxication, the man was arrested for drunk driving. A warrant was then issued for a sample of the man’s blood, which was sent to a lab for testing.

Mishandling of case could lead to dropped drunk driving charges

Far too often residents across the nation are pulled over by police on suspicion of drunk driving. When a field sobriety test does not yield proof of intoxication, some officers may push for a breath test. In some states, such as here in Washington, implied consent laws can lead to an arrest if a driver refuses such a test, even if the driver does not believe that they are intoxicated. But what is a person to do if these results are also inconclusive or the officer lies about the results just to get the arrest?

Our Washington readers can see this very question being raised by a Texas case this month where defense attorneys are arguing that a police officer lied under oath about a recent Breathalyzer test that was administered to a fellow law enforcement officer. According to records, a trooper from one jurisdiction stopped an officer from another jurisdiction under the belief that the driver was intoxicated. Court records indicate that a Breathalyzer was administered and that it registered a .09 blood alcohol level.

Fatal crash in Burien sends elderly driver to jail for DUI

A fatal motorcycle crash in Burien recently may have changed the lives of not only the victim’s family but the 62-year-old Washington man who is accused of causing the crash. That’s because on top of being accused of drunk driving, he may also be facing a charge of vehicular homicide as well. And as readers of our blog know, a charge like this can have a significant impact on a person’s life, no matter what their age.

For those who may not know, the crash happened around 9 p.m. when police say the 62-year-old man, who was travelling east along Southwest 156th Street in Burien, collided with a motorcycle rider who was travelling in the opposite direction. Reports do not indicate if the elderly driver had crossed the centerline of the roadway only that police believed him to be under the influence at the time of the crash.

Ridgefield woman faces DUI charges after rear-end crash

A 28-year-old Ridgefield woman is up against two rather serious criminal charges this month that may require the help of a skilled attorney. The charges of drunk driving and vehicular assault were brought against the Washington woman after she was involved in a rear-end collision just last month. But in order for her to be convicted, prosecutors will need to establish a few things first.

According to a report made by the Washington State Patrol, the woman was driving on I-5, just north of Vancouver, at a high rate of speed when she collided with a vehicle being driven by a 70-year-old man. The report indicates that even though the man was injured in the crash, he was treated and released from the hospital. The woman was not treated for any injuries but was instead charged with DUI.

Driver's license of Oak Harbor man reinstated for work purposes

Losing your driver’s license because of a drunk-driving conviction if sometimes considered to be the worst punishment a person can receive. Without your license, you are no longer allowed to drive, even if you need your vehicle to get to work. As some of our Washington readers may know, many people challenge a license suspension so as not to suffer financial setbacks because of their inability to get to work.

While few are able to effectively argue why their license should be reinstated, an Oak Harbor man proved this month that it is possible to regain your driving privileges even if you have been charged with a serious drunk-driving charge.

Exposure to drunk driving increases DUI risk for teens

Many Clark County parents fear that when their child becomes a teenager they will partake in behaviors that could lead to criminal charges. Oftentimes they might even wonder what the chances are of this happening and if there are any circumstances that can increase their child's risk. Thanks to a new study conducted by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, parents may finally have their answer to this question.

According to the study, teens that have been exposed to impaired driving, such as being a passenger in the car of an intoxicated driver, are more likely to exhibit this behavior later in life. Researchers came to this conclusion after looking at a sample of about 2,500 10th-graders who were followed until they reached 12th grade. They found that by 12th grade, teens that had been exposed to impaired driving were "many times more likely" to drive impaired themselves when compared to those who had not been exposed to such behavior.


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