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Washington State Lawmakers Push For DUI Check Points

Washington State Lawmakers Push For DUI Check Points

DUI News – State lawmakers and advocates are at it again, trying to change the law and amend the constitution to legalize random DUI check points here in Washington State.  The legalization of DUI check points would allow law enforcement to stop vehicles without legal cause and investigate individuals for possible driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.  Why try again?  Supporters of DUI check points are convinced individuals will think twice about drunk driving knowing they could be stopped at a DUI sobriety check point and thus drunk driving would decrease.

Democratic State Representative Roger Goodman, of Kirkland, appears to be a supporting forefront voice on the controversial issue saying, “We’ve made a lot of progress in enacting DUI laws, but there’s one missing piece and that’s the sobriety checkpoints, which have been shown to reduce deaths by 25 to 30 percent in other states that have them.”  According to Goodman, 38 states nationwide and the District of Columbia currently have similar DUI check point laws in place.

Goodman, other lawmakers, MADD, and advocates for victims and survivors of drunk driving accidents have banded together knowing they have an extremely tough uphill battle to try to pass random DUI check points into law.  Past attempts to move DUI check points into law have all failed due to Washington State’s constitution having very strict privacy laws.  A report produced by the lawmakers and advocates will likely be handed over to state officials on December 4th to continue their push forward for DUI check points.

Those opposing DUI check points are not lying low, they are loudly voicing violations of State and Federal constitutional rights.  Many are saying Washington State is unique for having strict privacy laws and it should stay that way.  Doug Honig with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Washington State, shared his stance saying, “In our society, if you’re out and about on the highway and you aren’t doing anything wrong, law enforcement shouldn’t be stopping you.”  He continued, “It’s a matter of general freedom in our society.”

This issue of legalizing DUI check points is difficult, on one hand we want to keep all people safe, on the other hand it would cost the right to privacy while driving.  When it comes to civil liberties I think it is wise to remember the old saying, “If you give them an inch, they will take a mile.”  Meaning, if we give up our right to privacy while driving and allow police officers to investigate anyone for possible DUI what will come next… allowing random searches of vehicles… or allowing law enforcement to enter homes without cause or warrant?  The more we allow law enforcement to encroach on our daily lives, the less freedom we truly have.

The information above was derived from the article Sobering idea?  State floats idea of random DUI check points, written by Lindsay Cohen, Nov. 6th 2013 and can be found on


Written by S.O



“8 Mile” Actor Popped For DUI

“8 Mile” Actor Popped For DUI

Actor Anthony D. Mackie, well known for starring in movies such as “8 Mile,” “Hurt Locker,” and “Notorious,” was arrested early in the morning on November 9th by New York City Police for DUI (driving under the influence).

According to NYC police, the 35-year-old actor was initially pulled over at 1:22 a.m. in Harlem for driving a vehicle with tinted windows.  Allegedly, when police approached Mackie’s vehicle to collect driver’s license and vehicle registration information they detected a strong smell of alcohol on Mackie’s breath and noticed his eyes were watery and bloodshot.  The officers suspected Mackie of drunk driving and asked him to perform the voluntary DUI field sobriety tests.

Mackie supposedly failed many of the sobriety field tests, was arrested for DUI, and was taken to the police station for booking.  While at the station, police asked Mackie to blow into the breathalyzer machine to determine his BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level, Mackie refused.  Because of the refusal to blow into the breathalyzer machine, NYC automatically suspended Mackie’s driver’s license for one year and fined him $500.00.

Here in Washington State, if an individual refuses to blow into the police station breathalyzer machine, a police officer will inform that individual that they will lose their driver’s license for one year.  However, the police are being somewhat misleading when stating “you will lose your driver’s license if you refuse” because an individual has the opportunity to request a hearing from the Washington State Department of Licensing to contest the loss of their license.

The experienced DUI lawyers at David O Defense have successfully defended many individuals in Washington States during DOL (department of licensing) hearings allowing those individuals to maintain their driving rights and privileges.  If you need representation for a DUI charge, DOL hearing, or have any questions about DUI consequences give us a call to schedule a free consultation 206-459-6392.


Written by S.O

Washington State Drinking Laws You Might Not Know About

Washington State Drinking Laws You Might Not Know About

Have you ever been to a restaurant or bar and noticed the bartender just keeps serving an obviously intoxicated person more drinks?  Sure it seems the patron accepting the drinks is on cloud 9 having a great time and the bartender hopes their tip will increase with each new drink made, but what both of these people are unaware of is that over service of alcohol is illegal in the State of Washington.  Or have you ever seen a bartender turn and take a quick shot during a hectic night of work?  Seems like they should be allowed to drink when the bar is that crazy busy, however, drinking while at work is illegal too.

Here are a few Washington State laws pertaining to drinking alcohol that you might not know about.

1.  Over Service of Alcohol (RCW 66.44.200, WAC 314.16.150)

  • Alcohol may not be sold to an individual that is intoxicated.
  • An individual that is obviously intoxicated may not possess alcohol, open or unopened.
  • All alcohol must be removed from an overly intoxicated individual and further service of alcohol must be refused.
  • An intoxicated customer may remain at your business as long as they do not possess alcohol, this allows time for them to sober up and prevent situations like DUI (driving under the influence).

2.  Disorderly Conduct by Business Owners, Staff, or Customers (WAC 314.11.015)

  • Businesses can not allow disorderly conduct by customers, owners, or employees, they must call police if a fight breaks out etc.
  • No owner or employee may drink alcohol while working, this includes on site DJ’s, musicians, and karaoke operators.
  • Business owners and employees are not allowed to be intoxicated at their place of employment no matter if they are working or not working.

3.  Minors, Individuals Under The Age of 21(RCW 66.44.270, RCW 66.41.310, WAC 314.11.020, WAC 314.16.150)

  • Alcohol may not be sold to an individual under the age of 21 years.
  • Individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited to possess alcohol, even if the alcohol container is closed or sealed.
  • Minors are not allowed in age-restricted areas, taverns, or lounges.

Establishments that do not abide by these laws and have histories of DUI, complaints, and police referrals are often targeted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.  The Liquor Control Board will monitor these businesses through undercover operations to observe and watch for law violations.  They will also investigate through compliance checks where they will send minors into establishments to purchase alcohol.  If laws are broken, the Liquor Control Board may issue fines, revoke licenses, and in worst case scenarios, shut a business down.


Written by S.O