Posts by David O

Physical Control DUI – Q&A

Physical Control DUI – Questions and Answers

  • Q1. What is a physical control DUI charge?
    • A1. A physical control DUI charge is given to someone that a law enforcement officer believes is under the influence of alcohol or any drug and the person has “actual physical control of a vehicle..”
  • Q2. How is a physical control DUI charge different from a standard DUI charge?
    • A2. In the case of Physical Control DUI, the officer did not observe the person driving prior to starting the investigation.  In the case of the standard DUI, the officer usually observes the person driving prior to initiating a DUI investigation.
      • A Few Examples of Physical Control DUI
        • A law enforcement officer approaches an intoxicated person that is passed out in the drivers seat of istock photo downloaded for physical control DUI blogtheir parked car.  If the officer believes they recently drove their car or they are intending to, the officer could charge that individual with physical control DUI.
        • A law enforcement officer finds an intoxicated person pulled over and parked safely on the side of a highway.  The officer could charge that individual with physical control DUI even though the officer never saw actual driving.
        • A law enforcement officer approaches a person pulled over on the side of the road working on repairing a flat tire.  If the officer believes that person is drunk or under the influence of drugs, they may be arrested and charged with physical control DUI.
      • A Few Examples of (a standard) DUI
        • A law enforcement officer see’s a driver on the freeway  driving erratically and swerving between lanes, they pull the driver over and if they believe they are drunk driving then they will be charged with DUI.
        • A law enforcement officer observes a driver fail to signal while making a turn.  If the officers believes the person is under the influence than they will be charged with DUI.
        • A law enforcement pulls someone over for speeding and the officer believes they are under the influence, they will be charged with DUI.
  • Q3. Are the penalties less harsh for physical control DUI when compared to a standard DUI?
    • A3. The penalties for physical control DUI and DUI are the same.  If you plead guilty to physical control DUI or if you are found guilty at trial you will be subjected to the same penalties as those guilty of DUI.
  • Q4. Are there any defenses for a person charged with physical control DUI?
    • A4. Yes, there are two defenses. The first defense is proving that the person was “safely off the roadway” and the second defense is to prove the consumption of alcohol or drugs occurred after driving.

If you have charged with physical control DUI, give our experience defense attorneys a call, (206) 459-6392, to schedule a free, no obligation consultation where you can discuss the details of your case.

 

DUI Arraignment – The Who, What and Why

The word “arraignment” sounds intimidating and scary. However, after learning about the who, what, and why of a DUI arraignment, a person should have a better understanding of the arraignment process and feel more at ease.

The Who – Who goes to a DUI arraignment?

  • A person who has been charged with DUI, also called a criminal defendant, will be required to attend the arraignment.
  • The arraignment is held in a court of law in front of a judge.
  • It is likely that the city or state prosecutor will also be present.
  • If a private DUI attorney was hired before the arraignment date, the defendant can expect to have their attorney present.  If a private attorney was not hired than a public defender will be present.
  • Other people may also be in the courtroom during the DUI arraignment.

istock photo downloaded for DUI arraignment blogThe What – What is an arraignment?

  • An arraignment is a criminal defendant’s first formal court hearing.
  • The defendant will be formally told of their charges by the judge or prosecutor.
  • The defense attorney and judge will advise the defendant of their legal rights.

The Why – Why is an arraignment important?

  • During the arraignment the judge will ask how the defendant would like to plead to the DUI charge, guilty or not guilty?
  • The defendant will need to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Next the judge will set conditions of release, which could include; being released on personal recognizance, bail being set, order to install an ignition interlock device, a prohibition against consuming alcohol or drugs (including marijuana), placement of an alcohol detection device on your person, and no driving if the defendant is uninsured or their license is invalid.
  • In most jurisdictions, the defendant can expect to receive a copy of their police report from the prosecutor if a defense attorney is present.
  • And lastly, the defendant can expect to receive their next DUI court date, which is called the pre-trial hearing.

 

The DUI defense attorneys at David O Defense are here to help navigate clients through all steps of the legal process, including the DUI arraignment. If you have been charged with DUI, call our defense lawyers today, 206-459-6392, to schedule a free legal consultation.

 

Distracted Driving – Learn about It!

As of recent I’ve been hearing the buzz words “distracted driving.” While the words seem to explain themselves, I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out more.

According to the U.S. Department of transportation, distracted driving is defined as; any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.

Here are a few examples of distracted driving:

  • Distracted Driving for David O Defense websiteUse of a smart phone or cell phone; looking at texts, sending messages, making calls, receiving calls, changing music etc.
  • Eating, reaching for food, and passing food to other passengers.
  • Applying makeup or styling hair.
  • Programing a GPS or navigation system.
  • Trying to manage children.
  • Pets roaming inside a vehicle.
  • Taking off a coat or piece of clothing while driving.
  • Reaching for an item across the vehicle.

 

I think we have all been guilty of distracted driving at one time or another. But again, why all the fuss, what’s the big deal? I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else while driving and munching on some hot McDonald’s fries, after all the fries are much better devoured hot rather than cold.

Well it turns out it is a big deal! Here are some shocking and rather persuasive statistics:

  • Recent research has discovered that distraction “latency” lasts an average of 27 seconds, meaning that, even after drivers put down the phone or stop fiddling with the navigation system, drivers aren’t fully engaged with the driving task. (AAA Foundation)
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (2009, VTTI)
  • Text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. (Distraction.gov)
  • Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of driv­ers who were distracted at the time of the crashes. (NHTSA)
  • A recent in-car study showed that teen drivers were distracted almost a quarter of the time they were behind the wheel. (AAA Foundation)
  • In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. (Distraction.gov)

After reading these statistics I felt quite guilty for my distracted driving and eating hot fries in the car. Now I realize how dangerous distracted driving can be. I am happy to change my driving habit from here on out to keep others safe and to set a good example for my three kids who will one day grow to be teenage drivers themselves.

Follow these 5 easy tips to avoid distracted driving:

  1. Focus on driving. Remember your operating a large machine and it requires your full concentration. Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the steering wheel, use your mirrors, signal, and be a defensive driver.
  2. Avoid the use of smart phones, cell phones and technology while driving. Pre-set your devices before you start to drive. If you need to use or change a technical device, simply pull your vehicle over. REMEMBER NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING!
  3. Set your kids up for success before you start to drive. Make sure they have what they need and are buckled properly before hitting the road. If you need to manage your child while driving, pull over.
  4. Get your self situated before you start to drive. Make sure you’ll be comfortable while driving. For example; complete your daily grooming before you leave, make sure you have enough time to get to your destination, and remove your coat before hand.
  5. Don’t let other passengers distract you, this includes pets. Let passengers know if they are being distracting and make sure your pets are safely secured.

These tips are simple and when followed they help keep drivers, passengers, and others on the roadways safe. Let’s keep everyone safe, don’t be a distracted driver. Want to learn more, go to distraction.gov or aaa.foundation.org.

David O Defense
2211 Elliott Avenue, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98121
Tel: 206.459.6392
Fax: 888.615.0237
Email: david@davidodefense.com

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