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Charles H. Williams,
Attorney and Counselor
at Law, P.S.
707 South Snoqualmie
Suite 4A
Seattle, WA 98108

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Washington council member arrested for DUI

A few drinks can lead to consequences that affect not only a person's reputation within the community, but also their career opportunities. A drunk driving conviction in Seattle could have lasting consequences that go beyond the initial fine and installation of an ignition lock in the individual's car. Recently, a Washington man may face these consequences after a drunk driving arrest.

Police say that a Washington Councilman was arrested after police pulled him over for a traffic violation. According to police, the man was committing lane violations when he was pulled over. Police say an officer smelled alcohol and the man agreed to participate in field sobriety test. According to a report, the man was cooperative, but did not tell the officer at the scene that the man was a Tacoma City councilman.

Generally, a DUI charge relates to an individual driving under the influence of alcohol and whose blood-alcohol concentration, also known as BAC, is above the state's legal limit. In Washington, a person is under the influence of alcohol if they have a BAC of 0.08 or higher within two hours of the individual driving the vehicle. In determining the severity of an individual's drunk driving violating, a judge may consider factors such as the individual's previous drunk driving offenses and whether there was a child in the vehicle at the time of the drunk driving incident.

A defendant convicted of drunk driving in Washington faces penalties that may include a fine, jail time, installation of an ignition interlock system and suspension of the defendant's driver's license. Because of these stiff penalties, a defendant accused of drunk driving should be aware of their possible defenses. Furthermore, it is important to remember that all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Tacoma council arrested in DUI stop," Jan. 21, 2013

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