One type of DUI offense that is even more serious than the average driving under the influence charge is a hit and run. In Washington, you can be charged with a number of offenses when accused of hitting another vehicle or property and then leaving the scene of the accident. In addition to causing and accident, failing to report the accident and leaving the scene of the crime, a person can be charged with DUI if it is believed that they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the collision occurred.
An example the many charges a hit and run can lead to is reported in the Seattle Times. Recently, a 50-year-old woman, Pamela Masterson-Stearns, was arrested after she allegedly hit a motorcyclist and then drove away. She was eventually stopped by police who reported finding an empty container of alcohol in her vehicle and noted she appeared intoxicated. When a breath test was performed, it showed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.189.
Masterson-Stearns was arrested and now faces charges for DUI, injury hit and run and vehicular assault. In addition, she also has two prior DUI convictions; one that occurred in 2002 and the other in 2005. If she's convicted on these charges, Masterson-Stearns can face felony charges for the hit and run plus additional penalties for being a repeat DUI offender. The sentencing for these crimes includes years of jail time and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. In addition to these, she will also likely experience license suspension, probation and mandatory alcohol education.
Any type of DUI can have serious consequences, but this is especially true in situations where another person is injured or an accident occurs. The more circumstances that go in to a DUI arrest, the more charges that can result. If you find yourself being accused of a hit-and-run or any type of DUI crime in Washington, contact a Seattle DUI attorney right away.