If you feel like the summer of 2019 has just flown by, you are not the only one. Labor Day is just around the corner and many people are planning their final summer vacations, weekend trips, and parties before school starts and fall arrives. If you are one of those people who is planning to celebrate the end of summer, you should think twice about mixing alcohol and/or recreational marijuana in your plans, especially if you will have to drive anywhere.
Starting Saturday, August 24, 2019 (or “Saturation Saturday,” according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Washington law enforcement will be heavily increasing their Driving Under the Influence (DUI) patrols across the state. Over 150 extra patrols will be on the lookout for people driving impaired, either because they've had too much to drink or are under the influence of drugs, including recreational marijuana.
Washington law enforcement will have high-visibility patrols set up in areas that are highly trafficked by motorists, and they plan to get the word out as much as possible that they will be out and about so that drivers will think twice and make other plans to get them to and from their activities if they plan on consuming alcohol or recreational marijuana. If you are planning to indulge, you should be safe and either pick a designated driver, use a taxi or rideshare, or use the SaferRide app to get you home.
Washington DUI Statistics
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), 25,400 people were arrested for DUI in 2017, meaning that 14.6% of all arrests statewide in 2017 were for DUI. From 2011 to 2015, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had either alcohol or drugs in their system doubled from 78 to 149.
Washington Field Sobriety Tests
In Washington, you can be pulled over by law enforcement for a number of reasons: speeding, driving with a broken taillight, making an improper lane change. If the police officer thinks they see evidence that you are impaired (bloodshot eyes, slurred words, or flushed face), they may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test.
Field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-legged stand test, and the walk-and-turn test. But field sobriety tests are highly inaccurate and there are a number of reasons that you might fail one. Road conditions, the shoes you were wearing, and a pre-existing medical condition can all affect how you perform during a field sobriety test.
Experienced DUI Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
Just because you may have been charged with a DUI does not mean you will be convicted. If you get caught up in one of Washington's extra DUI patrols between now and Labor Day and are charged with a DUI, you need to call an experienced DUI attorney right away to defend your rights.
The Law Offices of Steve Karimi have years of experience in defending drivers accused of DUI, and they know how to challenge the outcome of a failed field sobriety test. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777 or fill out a contact form to get a free consultation of your case.