When a person is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, there can be significant long-term consequences. A Seattle resident who ends up being convicted of DUI charges faces penalties that include possible jail or prison time, significant fines and having their driver's license suspended. A local man may be facing these consequences after Seattle police say he caused injuries while driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to police, officers approached a man they believed was drunk driving. They indicated that the man drove away when officers asked him to get out of the car he was driving. The police stated that the man reversed his car while the car's door was open, and the car door hit a police officer.
The man allegedly then hit a police officer's vehicle, which crashed into another police vehicle. Police say that the man then tried to hit a third police car, but was unable to as it was stuck between a police car and another vehicle. The man was apprehended and taken to the county jail.
In Washington, the penalties associated with a DUI conviction increases in seriousness depending on the defendant's blood or breath alcohol concentration or the defendant's refusal to take a BAC test. For example, a defendant who has not had any prior offenses and has not had a BAC test, or has a BAC of less than 0.15, is convicted of driving under the influence and faces a minimum jail time of one day and a fine of $823.
A first time DUI offender may have their license suspended for 90 days and have an ignition interlock system installed in their vehicle for a year after they have had their license suspended. However, a defendant with prior DUI convictions who refuses a BAC test, or has a BAC level greater than 0.15, faces two days in jail as opposed to one. The defendant may also have a fine of more than $1,000 and have their license revoked for one to two years.
A drunk driving accusation or conviction carries significant penalties. A defendant charged with drunk driving should be aware of their rights and possible defenses. It is important to remember that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Source: Seattle's Q13 Fox News, "Police: Allegedly drunk driver hits officer, 3 patrol cars," Oct. 5, 2012