Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in the state of Washington. Anyone suspected of DUI may have quite a few questions about the charge and how to fight it. Here are just a few of them.
Can an officer make a DUI arrest if the suspect was simply sitting in their car?
While many believe a DUI charge can only come if an officer sees a person driving while impaired, that is not the case. Washington DUI laws state that anyone in control of a vehicle may be arrested for DUI. In control of a vehicle means the car is capable of movement. So, if the accused is in the driver’s seat with keys in hand or the ignition, capable of putting the vehicle in motion, and they are under the influence of an impairing substance, they may be arrested and charged with DUI.
What if alcohol or illegal drugs were not used by the suspect?
A person does not need to be under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug to be charged with a DUI. There are plenty of other impairing substances out there that can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Some of them include certain prescription drugs, supplements and medications purchased over the counter.
What are the consequences of a DUI conviction?
There are a lot of factors that go into determining one’s punishment if convicted on DUI charges. That said, the standard consequences typically include jail time, fines and license suspension. Other potential penalties might include community service, participation in a rehabilitation program and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Is it possible to successfully fight a DUI charge?
Yes. Some individuals can achieve case dismissals, while others may walk away with minimal consequences. Every case is different. With legal counsel on one’s side, one can achieve the best possible outcome.