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