Santa Brought Me a DUI for Christmas

Posted by Geoffrey Burg | Dec 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

We all have our  wish lists for Christmas, but no one is hoping Santa will bring a DUI.  DUIs are dangerous, expensive, and time  consuming.  They take the cheer out of  the holiday season.

Unfortunately, DUIs  are common this time of year.   Local law enforcement agencies  are on heightened alert during this season, a notorious time for people to drive  impaired after celebrating the holidays, with emphasis patrols.

In  Washington State, 3,043 DUI/Physical Control Misdemeanor charges were filed in  December 2011 and 2,837 charges were filed in January 2012.  This means over 5,000 people started out the  New Year in a way that they wished they had not.

Road  signs throughout Washington warn drivers against the perils of driving with a  .08 or greater.  However, to be convicted  of a Washington DUI charge, the government must be able to prove that you  either:

·          Drove a motor vehicle and  your breath or blood alcohol level was equal to or greater than a .08 within two  hours of driving; or

·          Drove a motor vehicle while  affected by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and  drugs.

The  “affected by” prong means that if the prosecutor believes they can prove that  you were “affected by” alcohol, they will proceed on a DUI case even if your  breath or blood test result was less than a .08.  It is not uncommon to see drivers charged with  DUI even with a breath or blood test result well under .08 and we have  represented many such clients over the years.

How  do you prevent Santa from bringing a DUI?   If you have been consuming alcohol, we recommend that you take a cab home  or find alternative transportation.  We  have created a free app to help you, as a driver, keep yourself and others safe  this holiday season.  Our app is designed  to help you when you are out to prevent a costly DUI that could have serious,  damaging, long-term consequences!  The  app's features are:

·          Breath test calculator to  help make sure you don't drink too much.

·          Cab company phone number if  you have had one too many.

·          Information to give to the  police in case above not followed!

·          Our phone number for an  emergency.

Download the app on iTunes or on  Google Play.

Remember that you have the right to speak to an attorney  before making a decision to take or refuse a breath or blood test.  Failure of law enforcement to advise you of  this right may lead to the suppression of your breath or blood test results or  any allegation that you refused the test.

You  have an absolute right to refuse to incriminate yourself by making statements.   If your case went to trial, the  prosecutor and officer would not be allowed even to mention the fact that you  were asked questions and did not answer.

The  police are required by law to give you a reasonable opportunity to contact an  attorney by phone.  In many areas there  is an on-call attorney assigned to take these phone calls at all hours of the  day and night.

DUIs are the most preventable crime  there is.  However, we understand that  during the holiday season people sometimes make mistakes.  Hopefully you won't need our services, but we  are here to help if you do.

About the Author

Geoffrey Burg

Geoffrey Burg is a highly rated criminal defense attorney. Geoff has over 18 years experience defending people, writing legal publications and is a regular presenter at continuing legal education seminars. Geoff also lobbies on behalf of WACDL for people accused of crimes and fought for several bills to protect the rights of people accused of crimes.


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