Washington motorists may have noticed a bigger police presence on the roads recently. The beefed-up patrols should come as no surprise for experienced motorists because police forces across the state traditionally expand their patrolling during the holiday season. Indeed, this year marks the 23rd anniversary of a campaign called the "Night of 1,000 Stars." Under the campaign, law enforcement statewide cracks down on drunk driving.
Authorities hope the campaign will reduce the number of fatalities from traffic accidents during the holidays. On average, almost 50 people die each year between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. That is too high during any season, but especially so during the holidays.
As part of the campaign, law enforcement will focus on impaired driving, though they will also continue to keep an eye out for speeding, aggressive driving and driving without a seatbelt. The emphasis on impaired driving combined with extra patrols will likely mean an uptick in Washingtonians facing drunk driving charges in the near future.
If charged with these offenses, waging a strong DUI defense is imperative because the consequences of a DUI conviction can be steep. They can include jail time, sizeable fines, loss of one's driver's license and burdensome driving conditions in lieu of or following a suspension.
Fortunately, Washingtonians facing a DUI charge have many avenues for attacking the charge. The first route is to challenge the traffic stop. Police officers often pull people over for invalid reasons. By showing the officer had an illegal reason for stopping the accused individual, a DUI attorney may be able to get charges reduced or even dismissed.
Another avenue is to attack sobriety tests. In Washington, these tests are voluntary, which an officer must explain before conducting a test. If the officer fails to do so or conducts the test improperly, the evidence might get suppressed.
These are just a couple of the ways an experienced DUI attorney can attack drunk driving charges. Those seeking to avoid the serious consequences of a DUI conviction should take comfort in obtaining an experienced attorney who can pursue these routes to a favorable outcome.
Source: Lake Stevens Journal, "Extra holiday DUI patrols on the road in Snohomish County," Dec. 23, 2013