A 23-year-old woman driving a U-Haul box truck left a path of destruction in her wake as she sped through an Edmonds neighborhood north of Seattle last month.
The woman was suspected of driving under the influence just before 6 a.m., when she tore through the neighborhood, taking out fences, mailboxes and landscaping before crashing into the closed door of a garage attached to a home that wasn't her own.
Because of the potential structural damage caused to the house, the truck could not immediately be removed from the garage. No one was injured in the incident, but the truck driver was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
The woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, but could also face charges of hit-and-run property damage and reckless driving.
In Washington, a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana or any drug if he or she has, within two hours of driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood or a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects.
Washington has an “implied consent” law, meaning any person who operates a motor vehicle within the state is deemed to have given consent to a test or tests of his or her breath or blood for the purpose of determining the level of alcohol, marijuana or any drug, provided the arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person had been driving while under the influence.
If the driver refuses to take the test, his or her license or permit to drive will be revoked or denied for at least one year. In addition, refusal to take the test may be used in a criminal trial.
Because the U-Haul driver was speeding through the neighborhood, driving through yards and running over fences, landscaping and mailboxes, she could face charges of reckless driving and hit-and-run property damage.
Any person who drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of this provision is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in damage to property is required by law to take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property or, at least, leave a note. Anyone who strikes unattended property and does not tell the owner or leave a note is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
A DUI conviction, plus any associated charges, can have serious, long-term implications. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.
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