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How long does Washington State have to file charges for a DUI if there was no arrest or citation given the day of the accident

Spokane, WA |

Thank you Mr. Milios for your informed answer. I just want to make sure I understand WA laws. So even though my niece was not given a citation (ticket) or arrested the night of her accident she can still be charged with a DUI within two years of the accident. I am not sure if the blood test was for the benefit of the police or the doctor. Thanks again for your time. It is greatly appreciated.

Attorney Answers 3


Dear "Spokane" Mr. Milios is correct about the two years. The blood draw was requested by the officer and will be used against your niece - if results show she was under the influrence of alcohol or drugs. Typically a blood draw is requested if the individual was injured, unable to provide a breath sample, or suspected to be under the influence of drugs. If none of these are true, your niece may have an issue to debate with the State (or City) as the evidence test must be done by the least invasive means (meaning, breath test first). Regards, David Jolly

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I'd like to add one thing to Mr. Jolly's statement in answer to your question. The blood test you spoke of in your initial question was for the benefit of the doctor. That is how the hospital staff knew the results were over the legal limit. We are assuming, and it is a fair assumption, that the officer had a different sample drawn to be analyzed by the Washington State Patrol. If that sample comes back near or over the legal limit charges will be filed. And if the hospital draw came back with a high reading, it's a good bet the police draw will as well. It is of course possible that the officer did not have a sample drawn. Does your niece remember be asked permission by the officer to take a blood sample?

It is common in many if not most jurisdictions for DUI charges to be filed by a prosecutor upon receipt of the police report. In these jurisdictions, citations are not provided on the night of arrest. Instead, a summons is mailed out after the charge is filed. And yes, the state does have two years from the date of incident to file, regardless of the existence of a citation.

I guess that was adding more than one thing.

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Up to 1 year for misdemeanor.

Edward J. Blum

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