A drunk driving conviction may have negative consequences that could affect a defendant's future. Many of us are familiar with DUI penalties such as possible fines and jail or prison time, but loss of employment or trouble finding employment may also be negative consequences of a drunk driving conviction. Recently, a star college football player was handed a DUI charge and some stiff potential penalties.
According to the Seattle City Attorney's office, a UW football player has been charged with a misdemeanor DUI. The office said the football player had a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.18, which is above Washington state's legal limit. The football player faces nearly a year in jail and a fine of $5,000. According to reports, the Washington football player has been and remains indefinitely suspended from the football team. The football player was unable to participate in spring workouts with the team and may also miss games in this year's football season.
While a DUI charge is often related to being under the influence of alcohol, it may also apply to cases involving drugs that impairs a person's ability to operate a vehicle. In order to convict a defendant of drunk driving in Washington, the government must show that while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the defendant was driving a motor vehicle in a jurisdiction of the court bringing the charge, on an area that may be accessed by the public. A defendant does have some options to challenge a DUI charge, of which may include showing that the police officer did not have reasonable suspicion for pulling over the defendant. Having a strong and applicable defense may assist in lessening or eliminating the penalties faced by the defendant.
Choosing to drink and drive may mean more than paying a fine or installing an ignition interlock system; a DUI conviction could affect a person's ability to maintain a college scholarship such as the football player above. It is important to remember that all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Huskies star Austin Seferian-Jenkins charged with misdemeanor DUI," Bob Condotta, April 9, 2013