Monday, October 14, 2013

Kitsap County Prosecutor Arrested for DUI

Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Barbara O. Dennis was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after a rear-end collision Wednesday in Poulsbo. The Washington State Patrol says Dennis was booked into the Kitsap County Jail. She posted bail and was released. Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge has referred the case to Pierce County to avoid any conflict of interest. The Kitsap Sun reports Dennis was previously charged with drunken driving in 2007. The charged was reduced to negligent driving and Dennis complied with court-ordered conditions. Now more than ever, one cited for DUI is well advised to hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence allegations in Washington State are extremely serious, and can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Woman Arrested Twice for DUI within Three Hours

A woman has been arrested for driving drunk twice within a 3-hour period. The first arrest came after she plowed into the front of a Black Diamond store. Police say 58-year-old Laura Kelsch wasn't hurt and no one else was either. Surveillance video of the crash showed officers giving her a field sobriety test and police say she was three-times the legal limit -- at noon. Police believe Kelsch was heading to the liquor store next door. Instead, she was taken to the Enumclaw jail, but it was full so they took her back home and released her. But within a half hour, she's returned to buy alcohol. Her car had been impounded from the crash, but officers say she returned to the liquor store driving her husband's truck. She was arrested a second time. Just two years ago, Hailey's Law was passed requiring cars of suspected drunk drivers be impounded so they can't drive it for the next 12 hours. But in this case, Kelsch drove a different vehicle the second time. "Yes, it's unfortunate but she made that decision," said Cmdr. Greg Goral with Black Diamond Police. "We did our part. The law is designed and we followed that part where that vehicle was impounded." Kelsch was back home last Friday after spending a night in jail on the second arrest, but didn't want to comment. Police say they cited Kelsch for two DUIs and she'll get a summons to appear in court soon. Now more than ever, one cited for DUI is well advised to hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence allegations in Washington State are extremely serious, and can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

WA Supreme Court Rules Counties Can Be Liable

Washington's Supreme Court says cities, counties and utility companies can be liable when faulty road design leads to injuries in car crashes - even when the driver is drunk. In an 8-1 ruling Thursday, the justices overturned a lower court's decision in a case involving a crash near Anacortes. There, two people who had been drinking were injured when their car ran off the road and struck a utility pole that was reportedly closer to the roadway than guidelines dictated. The passenger, whose arm was disfigured, sued Skagit County and Puget Sound Energy. A lower court judge tossed the case, but the Supreme Court reinstated it, saying government entities owe a duty to ensure roads are reasonably safe for public travel, no matter whether the driver is at fault. Nevertheless, in her majority opinion, Justice Debra Stevens said a jury could limit or negate Skagit County or the utility's liability on other legal grounds. Justice Jim Johnson dissented. He said the ruling will leave taxpayers on the hook when criminal activity results in car crashes. It is clear, government agencies in Washington State are continuing to look for ways to crack down on DUI related incidents. The noose keeps getting tighter. Now more than ever, one cited for DUI is well advised to hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence allegations in Washington State are extremely serious, and can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tougher DUI Laws Coming Your Way

Washington lawmakers advanced a plan Wednesday to more closely monitor motorists who repeatedly drive under the influence, but the Legislature backed away from a costly proposal that would have increased minimum jail times for such offenders. Under the revised bill, drivers charged with a second impaired driving offense would face mandatory booking in jail and have an interlock device installed on their vehicles within five days of being charged. The state would also begin a pilot program in three counties and two states to conduct daily alcohol monitoring on a person convicted twice under the DUI law. "We're going to save lives," said Democratic Rep. Roger Goodman, one of the lawmakers working on the measure. Goodman said lawmakers have decided not to increase the mandatory minimum jail time for repeat offenders. Goodman said that proposal was expensive, although he says it may get more consideration in the future. The Senate voted Wednesday evening to approve the plan by a 46-0 margin, while the House is expected to vote on the bill as early as Thursday. The amended bill is the latest iteration in the debate over how to crack down on drunken driving. The legislation was sparked by some recent fatal accidents in the state, including a March case in which a suspected drunken driver crashed into a family crossing the street in a residential Seattle neighborhood. That accident critically injured a 10-day-old child and his mother and killed his grandparents. Republican Sen. Don Benton called the bill one of the most important measures the Legislature will pass this year. He said it's important for the state to hold people accountable for their own actions. "If you drink and drive in this state, you are going to pay a heavy penalty for putting your fellow citizens and your family members at risk," Benton said. Democratic Sen. Nathan Schlicher said he was encouraged by the bill but also said he hoped lawmakers would return next year to talk more about what they can do to focus on treatment in order to prevent alcohol abuse from happening. Getting a DUI has never been more serious. Now more than ever it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney or a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights and interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Drunk driver hands police his beer

A suspected drunk driver handed police a can of beer when they asked for his driver's license and then claimed to be an assassin for the U.S. government after officers stopped him last week in Kent. The bizarre incident unfolded on the evening of June 8 as officers responded to a 7-Eleven parking lot after receiving 911 calls about a drunk driver, said Assistant Chief Pat Lowery of the Kent police. Arriving at the scene, officers spotted the man walking out of the store toward his car with a can of beer in his hand. Several witnesses told police they had seen the man drive into the parking lot and became concerned when they saw how drunk he appeared to be. But when officers asked the man for his driver's license, he said he didn't have to cooperate in any way and then handed the officers the can of beer, Lowery said.He said officers were somewhat surprised by that. "When you ask somebody for a driver's license, you're not expecting a can of beer, that's for sure," he said. But that's not all. The suspected drunk driver then went on to make several claims that he was a paid assassin for the U.S. government and that he had killed several people on behalf of the government. "Based on his physical demeanor, his physical condition, he was obviously intoxicated, so the officer placed him under arrest for DUI," Lowery said. While talking with the man, later identified as Omar Medina, 26, officers also learned that he had three previous DUI arrests and that his license had been revoked. He was placed under arrest on suspicion of felony DUI and driving with a suspended license. Lowery said this was a great example of the public alerting the police to a potentially dangerous situation and working with officers to avert the danger. "And because of that, we potentially avoided a very serious traffic accident, likely injuries or death," Lowery said. "Mr. Medina was very intoxicated, based on what I've seen in the report. There's no doubt he could have caused a great deal of trouble." Getting a DUI has never been more serious. Now more than ever it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights and interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible. If you or a loved one is cited for, or charged with, DUI in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 for an initial free consultation.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sammamish Sees an Increase in Teen DUI

As many as 1,000 concerned Sammamish, WA parents gathered on Monday night for a community meeting to discuss why their teenagers are so troubled. Two big issues set the meeting in motion. The first is the alarming teenage suicide rate in Sammamish, and the second is high number of kids who are drinking or drugging and then getting behind the wheel of a car. Local police first spotted the DUI trend and say it has stayed consistent for years. There's concern the area's affluence may be part of the problem, mixing busy parents and children with too much disposable income and spare time. There's also the high suicide rate, which seems out of line for a city the size of Sammamish. "We've just had this rash of teen suicides in our community. We've had four in this community in this last year," said pastor Jeff Lancicome. Lancicome said the trends are headed in a direction the community doesn't want to go, and he's organizing a Monday night meeting for parents to get to the heart of the problems and find solutions. Police are doing what they can, including a recent sting that caught seven stores selling alcohol to minors. Safeway racked up its first offense, but Rite Aid and a local restaurant recorded their second citations in as many years,. Getting a DUI has never been more serious. Now more than ever it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights and interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pot Smelling Dogs Being Re-trained

When Dusty, a 19-month-old black Labrador, walked past a pipe full of marijuana during a recent police search of a house, he was doing exactly what his handler hoped. The newest drug-sniffing dog on the police force in Bremerton, near Seattle, is one of a few police dogs in Washington state that are not trained to point out pot during searches. Other police departments are considering or in the midst of re-training their dogs to ignore pot as well, part of the new reality in a state where voters last fall legalized marijuana use. Police departments in Bremerton, Bellevue and Seattle, as well as the Washington State Patrol, have either put the dogs through pot desensitization training or plan not to train them for marijuana detection. The law decriminalized possession of up to an ounce of the drug for individuals over 21 years old. It also barred the distribution and growth of marijuana outside the state-approved system. Police say that having a K-9 unit that doesn't alert to pot will lessen challenges to obtaining search warrants because the dog won't be pointing out possible legal amounts of the drug. Traditionally, dogs are trained to alert on the smell of marijuana, heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and cocaine. They can't tell which one it is or how much of each there is. In December, the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys told officers in a guidance memo that dogs that alert on pot face limitations when a search warrant is sought but those are "not fatal to a determination of probable cause." The group instructed officers to point out that the dog was trained to smell pot and how that is relevant to other information when they seek a warrant, and that a "narcotics-trained canine's alert will still be relevant to the probable cause equation." In Pierce County, however, prosecutor Mark Lindquist said authorities are being cautious about the new law because judges might excise the dog sniff from their analysis of probable cause. He's also not convinced dogs can be re-trained. "We'll need new dogs to alert on substances that are illegal," he said. In January, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission removed detecting marijuana from its canine team certification standards. The change doesn't prohibit trainers from doing so, but it's not required anymore. But some police departments aren't making any changes. And some observers say that a state Supreme Court decision in 2010 in which the justices sided against medical marijuana patients who argued police officers no longer had probable cause to immediately arrest or investigate due to the legalization of medical pot. If you or a loved one is charged with a criminal offense in Washington State, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorney. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Overcrowding in County Jail

Overcrowding in the Kitsap County Jail is forcing officials to change the standards about who stays behind bars and who gets released. Anyone arrested in Kitsap County is still booked into jail, but depending on the suspected crimes, some are being released without bail. The jail can operate with 421 inmates, but the population is currently exceeding that number. On Friday, the jail was 11 percent over maximum capacity. Records have shown that inmates are staying longer. The courts are seeing an increase in persons coming through there facing sentencing, so it's a matter of these two aspects that are causing this. In response, the chief of corrections made some changes to the jail's intake standards. Right now, the jail is booking and holding inmates for felony crimes, felony drug charges and domestic violence. But officials are releasing people suspected of nonviolent crimes, including misdemeanor theft, driving with a suspended license and DUI. The overcrowding also comes as the jail deals with budget issues and limited staff. But officals said the changes at the jail were made with safety in mind. "We recognize that fact that's why we're only being less restrictive with regard to crimes against property or civil violations, we're not talking about crimes against persons," officials stated. Officials are looking at the jail population every day, so the standards will change as the number of inmates decrease. If you or a loved one is charged with a criminal offense in Washington State, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense attorney. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Federal Government Looks to Toughen DUI Limit

Federal accident investigators are weighing a recommendation that states reduce their threshold for drunken driving from the current .08 blood alcohol content to .05, a standard that has been shown to substantially reduce highway deaths in other countries. The lower threshold was one of a series of recommendations aimed at reducing drunken driving made by the National Transportation Safety Board's staff in a report presented at a meeting of the board. New approaches are needed to combat drunken driving, which claims the lives of more than a third of the people killed each year on U.S highways - a level of carnage that that has remained stubbornly consistent for the past decade and a half, the board said. Dramatic progress was made in the 1980s through the mid-1990s after the minimum drinking age was raised to 21 and the legally-allowable maximum level of drivers' blood alcohol content was lowered to .08, the report said. Today, drunken driving claims about 10,000 lives a year, down from over 18,000 in 1982. At that time, alcohol-related fatalities accounted for about 40 percent of highway deaths. But progress in cutting the rate further has largely stagnated, and board members have called for a fresh approach. Technology may be part of the solution, and anti-drunken driving forces have talked of turning cars into a part of the solution. In December, the board called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the auto industry to step up their research into technology for use in all vehicles that can detect whether a driver has elevated blood alcohol without the driver breathing into a tube or taking any other action. Drivers with elevated levels would be unable to start their cars, but the technology is still years away. A combination of approaches will be needed to effectively drive down fatalities, researchers told the board at a two-day forum on drunk driving last year. Reducing the blood alcohol limit below .08 could save over 7,000 lives a year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has estimated. Australia saw a 12 percent decline in alcohol-related deaths as a share of overall traffic fatalities when it lowered its legal limit to .05. The limit in most of Europe is also .05, and in some countries it's as low as .02. A woman weighing less than 120 pounds can reach .05 after just one drink. A man weighing up to 160 pounds reaches .05 after two drinks. A recommendation made by researchers last year has been to expand the use of alcohol ignition interlock devices by drivers convicted of driving under the influence. The devices usually require a driver to breathe into a tube, much like the breathalyzers police ask suspected drunken drivers to use. Expanded use of high visibility checkpoints by police has also been recommended Getting a DUI has never been more serious. Now more than ever it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights and interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Court System Gets Hacked

The Washington state Administrative Office of the Courts was hacked sometime between last fall and February, and up to 160,000 Social Security numbers and 1 million driver's license numbers may have been accessed during the data breach of its public website, officials said Thursday. Court officials said they have only confirmed that 94 Social Security numbers were obtained and they don't believe the larger number was compromised, but they wanted to alert the public to the possibility as a precaution. The breach happened due to vulnerability in an Adobe Systems Inc. software program, ColdFusion, that has since been patched, court officials said. The hack happened sometime after September but wasn't caught until February. Telephone and email messages were left for Adobe representatives seeking comment. When court officials were first alerted to the breach, they believed all of the information accessed was public record, and didn't think confidential information was taken, but following an investigation by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the broader breach was confirmed in April, said courts spokeswoman Wendy Ferrell. Court officials said a law enforcement agency also investigated the case but they declined to say which one. They said the investigation was concluded and there was no information on who might be to blame. Keeling said he didn't believe the courts were a specific target. Ferrell said that once the breach was confirmed, it took additional time to go through the files and increase security to the website, which is why there was a lag in notifying the public. The 94 known names breached are being contacted by letter, she said. The rest of the people who are potentially affected come from a defined group: - Those booked into a city or county jail within the state of Washington between September 2011 and December 2012 may have had their name and Social Security number accessed. - Names and driver's license numbers may have been obtained from people who received a DUI citation in Washington state between 1989 through 2011, had a traffic case in Washington filed or resolved in a district or municipal court between 2011 and 2012, or had a superior court criminal case in Washington state that was filed against them or resolved between 2011 and 2012. Keeling acknowledged that confidential information should have been kept in a different area, "and now they are." "I can say nothing more than it was an oversight on our part," he said. Keeling said officials have added a number of additional security measures, including isolating anything that could be sensitive into more protected areas, implementing code to prevent hackers from getting to other parts of a server, and new encryption rules. Ferrell said no one from the Administrative Office of the Courts or any court in Washington state will be asking for personal information over the phone or via email related to the breach. State officials have set up a website and hotline to answer public questions about the break: www.courts.wa.gov/databreach and 1-800-448-5584. If you or a loved one is charged with a marijuana related criminal offense in Washington State it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorney. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Marijuana law jeopardizes all pot prosecutions

Prosecutors and crime lab scientists say a little-noticed provision in Washington's new law legalizing recreational marijuana has jeopardized their ability to go after any pot crimes at all, and they're calling for an immediate fix in the Legislature. The group is suggesting a change in the legal definition of marijuana, and they have the support of the Seattle lawyer who drafted the initiative. The problem stems from a part of the law meant to distinguish marijuana from industrial hemp, which is grown for its fiber. The law defines marijuana as having more than 0.3 percent of a certain intoxicating compound, called delta-9 THC. Scientists with the state crime lab say that often, even potent marijuana can have less than 0.3 percent. It's only when heated or burned that another compound, THC acid, turns into delta-9 THC and the pot achieves its full potency. "When you smoke it, it would be very potent, but before that, it would be considered hemp under the law," said Erik Nielson, standards and accountability manager for the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab's Forensic Lab Services Bureau. That means that if people get caught with more than an ounce of marijuana - the amount adults are allowed to have under the law - or if police bust illicit grow operations, prosecutors might not be able to prove the plants or material seized meets the definition of marijuana. Although the lab could analyze the delta-9 THC content by burning it, that would essentially tamper with the evidence seized in any case. Another option would be to buy expensive new equipment that can test for the compound without burning the plant. But money is tight, and the lab would have to spend months developing protocols for using that method. Instead, the prosecutors and crime lab scientists worked to draft legislation to fix the problem by changing the definition of marijuana. The measure, introduced Tuesday, would define marijuana as parts of the cannabis plant containing more than 0.3 percent by dry weight of combined delta-9 THC and THC acid. The bill is due to have a public hearing in a House committee Thursday. Washington voters passed Initiative 502 last fall, joining Colorado as the first states to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over 21, and to allow the sale of taxed pot at state-licensed stores. Under Washington law, voter-approved initiatives cannot be amended within two years after passage unless lawmakers approve it by a two-thirds vote in both houses. The proposed fix for the marijuana definition is not considered controversial. It has the support of Alison Holcomb, who drafted the initiative. If you or a loved one is charged with a crime in Washington State it is imperative that you (1) assert your right to remain silent, and (2) seek the assistance of a qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorney. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal lawyer that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Recent DUI's Highlight Problems

As the push continues for tougher DUI laws, two recent cases are drawing attention to repeat offenders. On Tuesday, Puyallup police say they got a repeat DUI offender off the streets when they arrested James Door. Tuesday's DUI arrest was Door's fifth, and investigators say he was so impaired when they pulled him over that he had trouble getting out of his car. After the arrest, Door refused to give a breath sample. "Essentially, the offender had already done time on a prior DUI arrest and felt he had nothing to lose and it didn't mean anything to him so he wasn't going to cooperate," said Capt. Scott Engle with the Puyallup Police Department. Engle then obtained a search warrant for a mandatory blood draw so it could be used later as evidence. "It's taking a serious, serious problem off the road that can impact innocent people in a moment's notice," he said. Door's arrest comes at the same time some lawmakers are proposing to tighten the state's DUI laws. Among other changes, the laws would require an arrest on the first offense and would set mandatory minimum jail time for second and third offenses. "We do think the laws need to be tougher here in Washington," said Dan Schulte, whose parents were killed and his wife and son seriously injured when they were hit by an alleged drunk driver in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood five weeks ago . In his first public statement since the crash, Schulte said things need to change. "A tragedy like this, it's really indescribable," he said. "It's something that is preventable and it's hit our family harder than it has most and it can happen to anyone." He now wants to help make sure no other family has to suffer like his. "All of us need to do what we can to make a difference, and we're hoping this horrible event can result in some positive outcomes," he said. Schulte's wife and infant son are both recovering in the hospital, but doctors say their road to recovery will be long. The suspected drunk driver, Mark Mullan, is facing two counts each of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. If you or a loved one is faced with a DUI charge in Western Washington, you deserve the assistance of a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI lawyer who has an intimate understanding of Washington DUI laws and the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI attorney who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington DUI law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998-8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tragedies Lead to Potential Changes in State DUI Laws

The new effort to combat drunk driving in our state is getting the fast track at the Capitol. Gov. Jay Inslee wants tougher penalties and more use of ignition interlock systems. And the increased attention to the issue all stems from recent horrific incidents involving repeat drunk drivers. It oftentimes takes tragedies to get lawmakers to act quickly. In this case it was the deaths of two grandparents - and the injuries to their daughter and infant grandchild. Those tragedies, along with the death of a woman hit by a wrong-way drunk driver on Highway 520 earlier this month, have put the governor and state lawmakers in a rush to try to stop the carnage. For four hours in two separate hearings, state lawmakers heard from law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys - and victims' families. Lawmakers from both parties are seizing the opportunity to call for more jail time for repeat offenders - plus a tag on licenses and IDs putting a 10-year prohibition on buying alcohol after a third offense along with requiring more repeat offenders to have interlock devices installed. The governor's original bill talked about installing these interlock devices at the impound lot for all first-time offenders, but the industry said that's just not feasible. The interlock folks at Safe Start say it can be a several-hour process. Plus users need training on how to use them. But those who have them say they work. Both the state House and Senate are working on amendments to streamline the bills and hope to have them ready for week. If you or a loved one is faced with a DUI charge in Western Washington, you deserve the assistance of a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI lawyer who has an intimate understanding of Washington DUI laws and the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI attorney who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington DUI law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998-8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.