The holiday season is in full swing. That means family get-togethers and holiday parties. With those festivities comes alcohol. When enjoyed responsibly, these festivities are fun. However, police will be on the lookout for those who allegedly drive under the influence.
The Washington State Patrol issued a challenge to drivers over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. The challenge, called "Arrive Alive," set as its goal no fatalities on Interstate 5. Washingtonians met the goal.
But while no one died on I-5 during the Thanksgiving weekend, police were out in full force, leading to many stops, citations and charges. For example, according to reports, Washington state troopers stopped over 8,000 drivers statewide for speeding and nearly 480 more for seatbelt violations. They also arrested more than 260 drivers statewide for allegedly drinking and driving.
The many Washington drivers swept up in the saturation patrols may soon discover a drunk driving arrest is a serious experience with significant ramifications for those eventually found guilty. Those ramifications can include fines, driver's license suspension, burdensome driving conditions and even jail time.
And, of course, those are just the criminal sanctions. A DUI conviction can also jeopardize a person's employment and hike insurance premiums.
Because of the high stakes, Washingtonians should wage a vigorous DUI defense. There are many ways to do that. One is to attack the blood or breath test, which may have been obtained improperly. For instance, the police may not have had probable cause to pull the driver over. Or, even if the police had probable cause, the test may have been done incorrectly.
These, and other errors, can be challenged. If that challenge succeeds, often the evidence gained from the error is suppressed. If the prosecution cannot use the evidence, they may have to reduce or even dismiss the charges.
Source: Courier Herald, "Zero I-5 fatalities during Thanksgiving weekend," Dec. 5, 2013