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Geoffrey L. Burg
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Geoffrey Burg’s Answers

18 total


  • DUI while boating

    Is it true you can get a DUI for operating a motoboat while drunk? What about a sailboat?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Yes, you can get a DUI while motor boating or sail boating. Generally these are referred to as Boating Under the Influence charges. The penalties are less, though still a criminal offense (misdemeanor) there is no license suspension, no mandatory jail, no mandatory fines, and no ignition interlock involved.

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  • Feeling good about driving after drinking

    I can drink quite a bit without feeling it (a bottle of wine for example). My wife is always concerned that I am over the legal limit even though I feel totally normal. Is how I feel a good enough gauge for whether I should drive?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    How you feel is not always a good gauge about whether or not you should drive. Obviously, alcohol can impair one's judgment and just because you feel ok to drive does not mean that you actually are. In addition to this, many people with alcohol problems have an increased "tolerance" and could feel fine to drive, but really be above the legal limit.

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  • DUI when driving a borrowed car

    If someone gets a DUI while driving a friend's car, can the car owner lose their license too?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    No, the owner of the car cannot lose his/her license. However, the car may be impounded and this could involve lots of costs.

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  • First time DUI

    If I plead guilty to my first time DUI, will I get better treatment than if I fight it?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Generally, no. You have a constitutional right to plead not guilty and to a trial where you get to confront the State's witnesses. It is uncommon for judges to increase penalties based upon you exercising you going to trial.

    We almost never recommend that you plead guilty as charged to DUI. We find that most of our cases get resolved based upon negotiations to a lesser charge. Cases can often be negotiated to a lesser charge, this is usually based upon factors such as prior criminal history (or lack of), the facts of the case, and any “evidential” problems or weaknesses in the State’s case.

    If you are made an offer, but decide, not to accept it, prosecutors will typically withdraw the offer. We help you weigh your options and determine if the benefit of proceeding to trial outweighs the risk. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to go to trial is in your hands.

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  • DUI sentencing

    How long can a DUI case be held open before sentencing?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    There is no time period in which a person must be sentenced after finding of guilt. Generally, a sentencing happens within two months of a plea of guilty or finding of guilt after trial.

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  • No contest for DUI

    Does pleading no contest to a DUI charge help at all?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    No, there is no such thing as "no contest" in Washington State, so this is not something that is possible to do.

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  • DUI and Fentanyl patches

    I use a Fentanyl Patch for pain relief. Can I be cited for driving under the influence?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    You can be cited for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. If the Fentanyl patches affect your ability to drive, then it is certainly possible that you could be charged with a drug DUI offense.

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  • DUI arrest for sleeping drunk

    I was sleeping in my vehicle when I was arrested for DUI. I blew over the limit, but I wasn't driving - I was sleeping. Can I really get DUI for that?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Yes, you can be charged for this, although the charge would be called "physical control." This is basically the same as a DUI, though the car is not moving. It is an absolute defense to this charge if you are parked "safely off the roadway." If you can show this, your case may be dismissed or you may be found not guilty at trial.

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  • Accident after drinking

    I got in an accident (my fault) and blew a .06. Can I be charged with anything?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Yes, you can be charged with DUI or Negligent Driving 1. Most people believe that they can only be charged with a DUI if they blow above a .08. However, the law actually allows you to be charge with DUI if your breath test is under a .08, but your ability to drive is affected by alcohol. So, if the government is able to show this, then they call still charge you with you with a .06.

    Also, negligent driving 1 is driving a motor vehicle in a manner likely to endanger persons or property while exhibiting the effects of having recently consumed alcohol. It is likely you could also be charged with this.

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  • DUI guilty plea and inurance coverage

    I got in an accident and got my first DUI. If I plead guilty, can that plea be used against me if the insurance company sues me for the damage I did to the car I ran into?

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    My experience is that insurance companies will cover the cost of your accident, regardless of whether you have been accused or convicted of DUI.

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