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DUI Charge Even With a Breath Test Under the Legal Limit

DUI Charge Even With a Breath Test Under the Legal Limit

It’s unfair but true you can be charged with a DUI in Seattle, in fact, everywhere in Washington State while having a DUI breath test result under the legal limit of .08.  RCW 46.61.502 defines a driver as being guilty of DUI if the person drives a vehicle within this state “while under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor..”  Affected by intoxicating liquor?!  What does this mean?

It means the prosecutor can still charge you with a DUI.  Every person reacts differently to alcohol and less amounts may “affect” a person’s ability to drive even while having a test result under the DUI limits.  A person charged with a DUI with a breath test under the legal limit will be facing the same penalties of a person with a breath test ranging from .08 to .15 with all other factors being similar.  As a result this type of case should be taken as seriously as a DUI case with a breath test above the legal limit.

Unless something extraordinary happened I don’t believe any driver should be charged with a DUI if that person blew under the legal limit.  Especially when the state puts on TV ads about DUI/drunk driving and posts signs all over the road showing the legal limit of .08.  It’s misleading.

I have represented several people charged with a DUI while blowing under the legal limit.  Fortunately for those clients we were able to resolve all those cases very well.


Published by Seattle DUI lawyer David O


Seattle Police Charged With DUI

Seattle Police Charged With DUI

I realize Seattle police officers are not celebrities whom I usually blog about, but I found this recently released DUI story to be interesting and slightly funny. just reported that two Seattle police officers were arrested and charged with DUI early Monday morning.  Yup you read that correct, 2 cops, here in Seattle, charged with DUI.

The two off-duty police officers, one male the other female, were driving through the SoDo district of Seattle when they crashed their car into a light pole.  According to a witness the car was still in working condition post crash and the driver, the female off duty officer, drove the car into the middle of the street, stopped the car, got out and switch seats with the male officer.  Very suspicious behavior!  The car then fled the crime scene with the male officer driving and the women officer riding shot gun.

The DUI cops were found 2 miles away from their light post hit-and-run crime scene passed out in their car, which was still in the street with the motor running.  When working police approached the car, they unfortuneately recognized their comrades.

The off-duty officers were arrested and booked at the police station.  The female’s BAC levels were .234 and .247 and the male’s BAC levels read .161 and .149, both well above Washington States DUI legal limit of .08

The female cop was processed with a DUI charge and the male officer was processed with DUI-physical control.  They may also be facing charges of hit-and-run for damaging the light post.

These 2 DUI police officers have already tarnished their reputation and could possibly lose their jobs.

A jingle comes to mind for the Seattle DUI cops:

Drunken cops, drunken cops
whacha gonna do, whacha gonna do
when the prosecutors come for you?

DUI cops, DUI cops
whacha gonna do, whacha gonna do
when the judge is sentencing you?


Published by S.O