DUI is one of the most common types of criminal charges. Police are trained to constantly stay vigilant for signs that a driver may be intoxicated. When a city or community feels that DUI drivers are a serious problem, police will be even more watchful and may increase patrol units specifically to catch more drivers. This may soon be the case in Washington, local news station King 5 reports that Washington state has recently been found to have the highest number of DUI related deaths. The news outlet states that a report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a group that works to strengthen DUI laws and increase awareness, found that Washington has one of the highest DUI-related fatality levels in the nation. They also gave the State 3 out of 5 stars when it comes to preventing drunk drivers.
In the detailed report, MADD found that there were 206 deaths that resulted from DUI-related accidents in 2009. This makes up about 42% of traffic fatalities and puts it in the top five states for DUI deaths. Researchers also believe that repeat offenders are a big problem in the state. They found that, in 2009, police arrested almost 20,000 offenders with 2 prior DUI convictions and more than 2,100 offenders with 4 prior convictions.
This evidence is surprising to some because Washington takes many steps to prevent DUI and enforce laws. In the report, MADD stated that Washington's DUI laws are about average from the country. This report may cause concern both for drivers and for law enforcement. Drivers deserve to feel safe on the road. However, increased pressure on law enforcement to cut down on the number of DUI drivers may mean police are over eager to make arrested and accuse drivers of being under the influence. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Seattle and another person was seriously injured or killed, it is important that you contact an experienced defense lawyer right away.