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49ers Aldon Smith Plead No Contest to DUI Charges and Now Struck With 9 Game Suspension

49ers Aldon Smith Plead No Contest to DUI Charges and Now Struck With 9 Game Suspension

The hammer of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has fallen hard on 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith.  Goodell suspended Smith for nine football games due to his violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy and substance abuse policy.  Smith will start his suspension this Saturday and will finish on November 10th, the day after the 49ers play the New Orleans Saints.

The heavy suspension came shortly after Smith wrapped up his criminal cases involving DUI, possession of marijuana, and possession of weapons.  Just before the start of training camp, the 24 year-old plead no contest to the DUI and weapons charges and was sentenced to three years of probation and 11 days of work crew.

After his DUI arrest back in September 2013, Smith was suspended indefinitely from the team and sought out help with substance abuse.  He enrolled himself in an in-patient treatment center and has claimed he has remained sober ever since.  When deciding Smith’s punishment, Goodell said he considered Smith’s time in rehab and that it was in his favor.

Niners general manager Trent Baalke supported his star athlete when he released this statement on Friday, “Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team. Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”

And yes, they better focus on their season ahead, because the Seahawks are ready to be the World Champs again! Go Hawks!!


Written by Senior DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney David O

Co-written by Sarah Ann

“DUI Policy Day” – For Lawmakers in Olympia

“DUI Policy Day” – For Lawmakers in Olympia

This past Tuesday, lawmakers in Olympia Washington had an unofficial “DUI Policy Day” to review and discuss House Bills 2344, 2506, 2507,  2503,and 2728.  The bills will provide clarity to unclear current DUI laws and will also stiffen penalties for repeat DUI offenders.

House Judiciary Committee chairman, Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland lead the discussion on bills.  Bill 2344 became a fiery debate.  2344 would require the Department of Licensing to mail out reminders of installation of an ignition interlock device to individuals who have been convicted of a DUI.  The ignition interlock device prevents drunk driving by requiring the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before their car will start.  Additionally, the bill stated that if an individual bought a new car to circumvent placing an ignition interlock device into their car they would be charged with a gross misdemeanor.  Republican Chad Magendanz, supporter and sponsor of Bill 2344, said it’s “absolutely clear,” this bill will prevent accidents and will detour individuals from buying a new car to escape placement of an ignition interlock device into their current car.  DUI defense attorneys and other opponents of 2344 exclaimed the bill was vague and way too costly at a projected 6 million to print and send ignition interlock reminders.  Goodman stated the cost “might put the bill in jeopardy.”

Bill 2506 requires Class C DUI felonies to be upgraded to Class B felonies.  The change in class would not increase sentencing ranges but would enhance post prison supervision on individuals that have an extensive criminal history.  Amy Freidheim, a King County prosecutor, said  this bill would only affect about a half-dozen people in King County over the past seven years.  Thus, bill 2506 would change post-jail conditions for approximately one person in King County each year.

Bill 2507 enhances penalties for individuals that have committed at least two DUI related vehicular homicides.  For the very very small number of individuals that fall into this category, they would have substantial increased jail time.

Bills 2503 and 2728 are primary technical changes, including or excluding wording.  However, the bills do include the ability for law enforcement to conduct blood draws from individuals that contest taking the alcohol breath tests.  Law enforcement would no longer require a warrant for the blood draw.

In addition to these 5 bills, Roger Goodman brought up several other DUI crack down ideas which included random DUI checkpoints.  Most of the ideas were quickly thrown out due to cost or overall ineffectiveness.  Marijuana DUI discussions were also heard.  Activists were voicing their disagreement with I-502 making it a crime to drive with five nanograms of THC (the active component in marijuana) in an individuals blood stream.  Their thoughts were five nanaograms was too low of a limit and that many law-abiding medical marijuana users have more than that in their bloodstreams and still physically and mentally function at levels safe enough to operate a car.


Written by S.O


What You Need To Know About DUI Checkpoints!

What You Need To Know About DUI Checkpoints!

As the holidays come to an end, and our christmas debt is almost completely diminished from loyal monthly payments, we turn our attention and daydreams to our upcoming vacations, after all spring break is only right around the corner .  For many of us, our spring and summer vacations will be spent on the road, traveling by fuel-efficient cars, mini vans, and RVs.  Taking a road trip from one state to another hoping to be the first individual to spot a native animal from the fogged up windows while heading towards our classic tourist site destination, such as Old Faithful.

Savvy road travelers beware… you may be driving in a state that utilizes DUI checkpoints!

Imagine you are on your road trip wandering through California and you stop at a local vineyard in Napa Valley to enjoy a beautiful lunch and a robust glass of wine, when in Rome, you roam!  Now imagine getting into your Prius with your significant other and continuing on your drive towards the California Redwoods National Park on a mission to view some of the world’s largest trees.  Sounds nice, right?  Now imagine you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint.  Not so nice!  Actually a huge buzz kill, and now you are facing the possibility of being charged with a DUI  (driving under the influence) in a state that you are not even a resident in.

Currently 38 states conduct DUI checkpoints, which are also known as “sobriety checkpoints.”  Thus if driving across the country, the chance of driving through a state that uses DUI checkpoints is high.  What is a DUI checkpoint?  A DUI checkpoint is a blockade set up along a road where law enforcement officers are stationed to check drivers for signs of intoxication and impairment.  Many jurisdictions utilize sobriety checkpoints as part of their larger drunk driving deterrence program.

By no means should DUI checkpoints detour us adventure seekers from hitting the roads, but it is in our best interests to know which states conduct DUI checkpoints so there are no surprises!

Road travelers… here is a list of States and areas that DO USE DUI checkpoints according to the Governors Highway Safety Association;  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia,  Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New  Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Road travelers… here is a list of safe states that DO NOT USE DUI checkpoints;  Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Enjoy your road trip travels and call David O Defense to speak with a DUI defense attorney if you have any further legal questions about DUI checkpoints, 206-459-6392.


Written by S.O