A 70-year old Seattle man, Dwight David Benson, has been charged with his 17th DUI case. His first DUI arrest occurred in 1984. Miraculously, no fatalities have resulted from any of his DUIs to date. Although his attorneys and family members have stressed in his prior cases that he is not a menace to society but merely a traumatized war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a drinking problem, his repeated offenses are cause for alarm and it is only a matter of time before more serious injuries result. The charges against him in this most recent arrest include those of felony DUI, driving without his court-ordered ignition-interlock device, reckless driving, and driving with a suspended and/or revoked license. This latest incident resulted in a head-on collision with another vehicle. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident but significant vehicle damage to both vehicles was reported. At the scene, it was reported that Dwight David Benson appeared to be intoxicated and admitted to consuming alcohol, but he refused a field sobriety test. After a hearing, he is currently being held in jail with bail set at $1 million dollars.
The Washington State Patrol has reported that DUI arrests have become an increasing concern. Approximately half of the 540 people killed last year in motor vehicle accidents involved an impaired driver. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission has reported a rising trend in impaired driving accidents with fatalities since 2011. Impaired driving accidents include individuals with a blood alcohol level greater than or equal to 0.08 or who are drug positive.
In an effort to combat the rise in impaired driving cases, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission has implemented several programs including:
- The Washington Impaired Driving Advisory Council (WIDAC)
- Target Zero Teams
- Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program
- The Ignition Interlock Program
- The Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU)
- Specialized DUI Courts
- Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors (TRSP)
- Law Enforcement Phlebotomy
- High Visibility Enforcement (HVE); and
- 24/7 Sobriety Program
The "Target Zero Teams" include the Washington State Patrol DUI squads of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Yakima, and Spokane counties in conjunction with local law enforcement as a multi-jurisdictional effort to combat impaired driving in areas with the highest rates of DUI crashes. In the first two years of the project, from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012, it was reported that in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties alone, more than 34,000 motorists were contacted and 6,693 DUI offenders were arrested. Moreover, DUI arrests and tickets for speeding and/or seat belt violations resulted in more than $14 million in fines.
DUI charges are serious. Having a skilled and seasoned DUI attorney on your side to defend against any charges made against you is critical. Steve Karimi is an experienced and competent DUI defense lawyer with experience handling DUI cases. Contact our office about your case by speaking with a member of our legal team, filling out an online case evaluation form or calling (206) 621-8777 today.