A Seattle woman is facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) and for reckless driving after cell phone footage captured her driving her car at a group of teens that she says threw snowballs at her car.
Woman Caught Driving at Teens Throwing Snowballs
The incident happened during the record-breaking snowfall from Winter Storm Maya. According to initial reports and eyewitness accounts, a snowball fight broke out at the Thomas Street Mini Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Teens thrilled by the prospect of a snow day started throwing snowballs in a fight that soon encompassed both sides of the street.
According to witnesses, a blue Jeep got caught in the crossfire before it left. A few minutes later, though, the Jeep returned to the scene and the driver started yelling at the teens. One of the people involved in the snowball fight started recording the altercation on his cell phone. As he recorded, the Jeep pulled a U-turn in the street and plowed right at a small crowd of teens who scattered up an embankment to safety. The driver got out and started a fight before she could be restrained by other onlookers.
Police arrested the driver and eventually charged her for DUI and reckless driving.
According to the woman, she was not trying to hit the teens – just scare them after a snowball flew into her car when she rolled down her window to yell at them.
A Quick Accumulation of Charges
The incident highlights an important tendency in DUI cases for additional charges to be filed as a drunk or drugged driving, for lack of a better term, snowballs out of control.
In many cases, drivers who are pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving consent to a search of their vehicle without realizing that they have a right to refuse. If police find something illegal in the car – most often trace amounts of marijuana or other controlled substances – the DUI stop can lead to an additional charge for drug possession or even drug trafficking.
Additionally, DUI suspects who are actually under the influence can behave erratically or aggressively and make matters worse by attacking others before getting arrested. In this case, if the woman was really under the influence, she probably took out her anger against the snowball-throwing teens in ways that she would not have otherwise. In other cases, the severity of that behavior is made even worse when it involves assaulting police officers or resisting arrest.
Steve Karimi: Seattle's DUI Defense Lawyer
The decreased inhibitions that come with drinking can exacerbate the severity of the charges that DUI suspects can face if they act in ways that they would not dream of acting were they not under the influence. The result, unfortunately, is a huge accumulation of criminal charges for conduct that a defendant immediately regrets and would never dream of doing, again.