In Kitsap, Washington, a school board member served a day in jail after a second DUI arrest. Rebecca Diehl was involved in her first DUI back in 2016, and at that time she entered into a pretrial diversion agreement to avoid jail. But her second DUI this past April violated that pretrial diversion agreement and so she was sentenced to one day in jail (with 364 days suspended), fines, and other conditions. A South Kitsap School Board spokesperson said Diehl was not serving in the capacity of the school board at the time of her DUI in April.
What is a Pretrial Diversion Agreement?
In Washington, pretrial diversion agreements are offered to suspected DUI offenders as a way to avoid jail time and have the offense dismissed entirely after five years if certain conditions are met to the court's satisfaction.
Accepting a pretrial diversion agreement might seem like a no-brainer, but by agreeing to one, you are forfeiting your right to a trial and the chance to challenge evidence presented at that trial. You also will have to admit that you are an alcoholic or have an addiction to drugs, and you will be ordered to attend substance abuse treatment programs (that you will have to pay for out of pocket) and avoid alcohol and controlled substances for a five-year period.
Pretrial diversion programs are popular because, in theory, they are a way for the court system to save its resources and for first-time offenders to avoid jail. The thought is that by focusing on correcting the behavior that led to the offense rather than just focusing on the punitive aspects will lead to lower recidivism rates.
But in Washington, if you violate any of the conditions of your pretrial diversion agreement, then like Diehl you will find it revoked and a judge will enter a plea of “guilty” to your first DUI charge and impose the mandatory sentence, as well as impose mandatory sentencing for your second DUI. And finally, pretrial diversion programs are expensive, very time-consuming, and likely to fail.
Challenging Evidence of Your DUI Arrest
Even if you failed a breathalyzer test and were arrested for a first-offense DUI, you can still fight the charge. Your first step after a DUI should be to contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi so that one of their attorneys can review your arrest record and advise you of your rights. An experienced DUI attorney could argue one of the following in your defense.
- There was no probable cause for the officer to stop you in the first place.
- The breath test was faulty either because the machine was not calibrated correctly or it had malfunctioned.
- You had lingering mouth alcohol in your system due to a medical condition or recent dental procedure.
- You were taking a certain medication that caused a false-positive breath test.
Seattle DUI Defense Attorney
Steve Karimi has proven and effective legal skills to represent clients across the state of Washington. He is a former prosecutor who now works to defend people against DUI charges, no matter how cut-and-dried the case may seem. If you failed a breath test during a DUI traffic stop, call his office today at 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form to learn how he can help you.