The holiday season is over. For many Washingtonians that meant Santa came by with nice gifts and happy memories. Unfortunately, not every Washingtonian will fondly look back at this past holiday season. For these folks, the Grinch stole Christmas, giving out DUI charges in the process. If those charges become a DUI conviction, it can mean a year full of coal. That might be the case for two drivers who were swept up by the extra patrols the Washington State Patrol does during the holiday season.
The first driver, according to reports, was driving erratically before striking the car in front of the driver. Two people were hurt, including the driver. Authorities have not charged the driver, but suspect alcohol played a role.
In a separate accident, a second driver allegedly ran a red light, hitting two cars as a result. No one in the two cars the driver reportedly struck were hurt.
Depending on several factors, including the drivers' BAC levels and criminal records, the drivers could face a myriad of consequences. Those consequences could be as minor as a small fine and short-term driver's license suspension, but could quickly escalate to a steep fine, long-term suspension and even jail time. In addition, even after the person has paid their debt to society, they might have to satisfy onerous requirements, including an ignition interlock system.
Given the consequences, Washingtonians should not treat a DUI charge lightly. Fortunately, Washingtonians do not have to face their charges alone. They have a constitutional right to counsel. Taking full advantage of that right might make the difference between a fair result or having a prosecutor throw the book at them.
Source: KPTV, "WSP investigates 2 separate DUI crashes, add extra patrols," Dec. 31, 2013