Many Washingtonians take driving for granted. They wake up, drive to work and then come home, safe and sound. The amount of time people spend in cars can deceive them into thinking that cars are risk-free. However, even something as seemingly innocuous as stopping at a stop sign can result in vehicular assault or homicide.
For instance, a recent car accident shut down a highway north of Poulsbo for nearly four hours. According to the Washington State Patrol, a Dodge Caravan collided with a Honda Prelude after the Honda failed to stop at a stop sign. The Honda Prelude was totaled and its driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Fortunately, several others were not hurt in the accident, including the driver of the Dodge Caravan and his two passengers. A passenger in the Honda Prelude was also uninjured.
Investigators believe the driver of the Honda Prelude was intoxicated. Consequently, the State Patrol expects that the driver of the Honda Prelude will be charged with driving under the influence.
If a driver is charged with DWI, they could face serious consequences, including hefty fines, loss of their drivers license and even jail time. Washingtonians facing similar circumstances need to take the charges seriously.
When formulating a defense plan, the defendant may be able to attack the propriety of the arrest. Some common weak points include errors in police procedure and violations of the Constitution. For example, officers may not pull a car over without probable cause of wrongdoing. When officers do not have probable cause, evidence from the stop may be suppressed and the charges may be dropped as a result.
Source: Bainbridge Island Review, "DUI to blame in crash that shut down Highway 307," Feb. 15, 2014