The DUI Stop in Seattle
The Washington DUI process begins with a driver being stopped by police. Most commonly, this occurs when a law enforcement agent notices a driver breaking a traffic law or exhibiting signs consistent with that of an impaired driver. When this happens, the vehicle will be asked to pull over to the side of the road. Also, in cases involving a serious accident, police officers will evaluate all drivers involved for signs of DUI.
When a driver is stopped, police are trained to look for signs that they may have been drinking alcohol or consuming drugs. This includes looking at how the suspect is reacting to questioning, their physical state such as red eyes or slurred speech and any evidence in their vehicle such as an open container or the odor of drugs or alcohol. If the officer is given any reason to believe that the driver is intoxicated, they will be asked to take a sobriety test.
Seattle DUI Sobriety Testing
There are two types of sobriety test: chemical and field. Field sobriety tests are physical tasks that a DUI suspect will be asked to perform in order to see whether their motor skills are impaired. These tests are performed prior to a DUI arrest. Chemical sobriety tests include blood, breath or urine tests that measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in the person's system. In some cases, police use portable breath tests in the field, but the majority of chemicals tests are performed after a suspect has been arrested. If the drive fails a field sobriety tests or if the officer is given reason to believe that they are under the influence, they will be arrested and taken to jail where a chemical sobriety test will also be administered.
After being arrested for DUI, a suspect can be released on bond. A bond may be paid in cash or through a bail bond agency. Their first chance to appear in front of a judge will be at their arraignment where they can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. At this point, it is crucial to have an experienced DUI attorney providing legal assistance. If a suspect chooses to plead not guilty, a trial date will be set.
Legal Assistance for the Seattle DUI Process
Having an experienced DUI lawyer by your side will help make sure that you get the best results possible. Attorney Steve Karimi will help you with every step of the DUI process. From coaching you during your arraignment to defending you in court, let his experience as a former Washington State prosecutor work for you. If you have been arrested for DUI in Seattle, contact our office right away.