Why am I being charged with a DUI a month after the incident when I passed the breathalyzer?: I was driving with a heavily intoxicated passenger. The vehicle was his. He was getting wild and I was trying to get us home when I lost control of the vehicle and hit a power pole. The car was totaled, my passenger taken to the hospital. He was a lawyer and told me to go home. I was disoriented and injured as well, but listened to his advise because he was a lawyer and 10 years my senior. I walked home and saw a cop car, they turned around right in front of me, I continued home. The officers came to my house, I was wearing heels still and was so confident in my sobriety that I took the field test in heels. They took me to the station and I passed the breathalyzer and was taken home, where the officer told me I was okay to drive to the hospital to check on my passenger. I received a ticket for "driving with wheels off the road" and paid it promptly. I was in the process of moving to Spokane already and now live here but a year later found out I have an active warrant and a pending DUI charge. My passenger never pressed any charges and I have requested a police report already but have been unable to retain a lawyer thus far.
Brian’s answer: The lengthy delay in filings is problematic in Snohomish and King Counties. You can also be charged with a DUI if your test results are under the legal limit. I have recently obtained a decision in Snohomish County that bars admission of the test results over our objection based on foundational issues with the accuracy and reliability of the tests. Even so, we are still seeing under the limit charges. This is generally because the officer believes that there was alcohol or drugs "on board" even if not over the "per se limit" of .08 grans of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. In a situation were there was a serious injury, it is possible to have felony charges brought, even if there is no evidence of drugs or alcohol consumption. Interview several attorneys that are prominent in the County where you are being charged - a good lawyer is often invaluable in a serious criminal case.
I was rear ended yesterday by a company truck carrying a trailer with two other vehicles.: I had come to a complete stop on the road because of traffic. While waiting for the car to move in front of me, the guy behind me rear ended me and totaled my car. We called the police and waited and when I spoke to the police officer he told me the truck driver said I swerved in front of him, not giving me enough time to stop. I was a shocked because I did cut him off or swerve in front. Could I be found at fault? Would I have to go to court to prove I was not at fault? Thank you!
Brian’s answer: Yep, it is possible. It is also a regular defense theory in these cases. Speak with a qualified local lawyer.
I was pulled over for DUI and I was given information on picking up my car, but I received no ticket or instructions. What now?: My license was not punched and I have no idea about an arraignment or any other things I need to do.
Brian’s answer: Unfortunately, you will probably be more formally charged soon. You will need to request a Department of Licensing DUI hearing within 20 days of arrest or you will lose your right to have that hearing. Even though you didn't get any paperwork, unfortunately you will still probably be charged and should start talking to local attorneys soon. Good luck.