New Year's Eve is one of those holidays that always touts a “Don't drink and Drive” campaign. Unfortunately, New Year's Eve usually has the highest incidence of drunk driving, which is particularly poor for Washington residents who were already plagued by an unusually high number of drunk driving incidents in 2018. That being said, what does a year in review of drunk driving in Washington look like?
Washington DUIs: A Year in Review
In February 2018, law enforcement officials discussed increasing the number of DUI checkpoints due to the rise of DUI-related fatalities. By summer those numbers were not decreasing, and law enforcement reported an unusually high number of DUIs with children in the car.
More recently, law enforcement has been busy. “More than 300 drunk drivers were pulled over in King County between Black Friday and Christmas.” In the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, that number jumped to over 400 drunk drivers being pulled off of the road. Some Washington county deputies are now trained to take a blood draw when they pull someone over so that they may have the most accurate blood-alcohol levels in suspected DUI cases.
DUI Laws in Washington
There are two separate laws that are grouped together and classified as “DUI Laws.” The law that most people may be familiar with is the law titled for the action “Driving Under the Influence.” The DUI law that is most likely unfamiliar to the general public is, “Physical Control of Vehicle Under the Influence.” The Washington Code relates this law as follows:
“A person is guilty of being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person has actual physical control of a vehicle within this state:
- And the person has, within two hours after being in actual physical control of the vehicle, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood; or
- The person has, within two hours after being in actual physical control of a vehicle, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood; or
- While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
- While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.”
The “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle does not have a strict definition and does not necessarily mean that you have to be driving the vehicle in order to be charged with a DUI.
Call a DUI Defense Lawyer for a Happy New Year
If you or a loved one do run into trouble and are arrested for a DUI, do not hesitate to call an experienced DUI defense lawyer. Steve Karimi is a top-rated criminal defense lawyer in the King County area and is here to ensure that you receive the best defense strategies possible. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.