Monthly Archives: August 2013

DUI Suspect Offers Beer To Cop In Kent, WA

In Washington state, you can be arrested for a DUI even if you are not driving your car at the time of arrest through the stipulations of what has been called the “physical control” law. This is what happened to a man who upon being asked for his driver’s license, offered a beer to a cop. On June 18, 2013, police approached the 26-year-old man in the parking lot of a Kent, Washington 7-Eleven. Witnesses had summoned police because the young man appeared intoxicated. The young man’s physical demeanor gave police sufficient grounds to arrest him on DUI charges. Subsequently, it was discovered the young man had three previous DUI arrests, and that his driver’s license had been revoked.

Seattle Drunk Driver Sobriety Test

Generally speaking, if the prosecutor has sufficient circumstantial evidence to prove that a person has been driving while intoxicated, that person does not have to be apprehended in the act of driving to be charged with a DUI. Washington state also has a physical control DUI law on its books as RCW 46.61.50. This law makes it a crime to use a vehicle in any way when you are intoxicated, even if you have pulled off the road because you have decided it is a bad idea to drive any further. Regardless of whether you are charged with a straight DUI or a physical control DUI, the blood alcohol limits for legal intoxication are .08 percent.

DUI penalties in Washington state can be severe, and may include jail time, probation, fines and ignition interlock requirements. There will be administrative penalties as well, such as loss of your driving privileges. You may be subject to administrative penalties even if the criminal charges against you are dismissed. If you’ve been charged with either a conventional DUI or a physical control DUI in the state of Washington, it might be in your best interest to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Source: Newser, “DUI Suspect to Cops: Here, Have a Beer,” Matt Cantor, June 18, 2013

Drunk Student Case Spotlights Fraternity Drinking

Arizona Underage Drinking & DUI Image

A recent case involving a fraternity brings attention to the problem of underage drinking in Arizona college towns. Members of an Arizona fraternity recently dropped off a fraternity brother at the hospital with a sticky note explaining he was drunk and needed help. That night, the student had consumed 20 shots of tequila. His frat brothers took him to the hospital out of fear for his well-being, but they didn’t stay because they thought they would get in trouble for providing him alcohol. The ASU fraternity has recently received media attention for its treatment of drunken fraternity brothers who are underage. Another inebriated student from the same fraternity drowned in a river after being kicked out of a Tempe bar during a fraternity gathering.

In Tempe, students in fraternities and sororities have been frequenting local bars because ASU closed Greek sorority and fraternity housing. Without university enforcement and intervention, fraternity members under and over 21 have more of an ability to drink in excess if they are not policed. The student who was taken to the hospital had a blood alcohol level of 0.47. In Arizona, the presence of a blood alcohol level above 0.0 is considered a violation of the law for anyone under 21 driving a motor vehicle. An underage DUI in Phoenix, Arizona results in a revocation, suspension or denial of a license for anywhere up to two years, depending on the number of violations a person has.

Arizona does not permit minors to possess or have any alcohol in their systems. Minors may receive up to 360 days in jail and multiple fines for hundreds or thousands of dollars for alcohol consumption. The law also prohibits people 21 and older from buying alcohol for a minor. Those who provide a minor alcohol could be charged with a misdemeanor.

In Arizona, DUI lawyers may be able to assist minors who have been arrested for an under 21 DUI. Attorneys work with people who are facing misdemeanors for drinking or driving under the influence to receive the most positive outcome possible. When individuals who have been arrested for DUI charges obtain the help a lawyer, they usually have a better chance at making a strong claim and a chance at receiving a lesser charge.

Source: Alcohol Policy Information System, “State Profiles of Drinking Laws: Arizona,” 2013.

Source: DrivingLaws.org, “Drunk Driving Fines and Penalties in Arizona,” , 2012.

What Happens In Vegas Does’t Always Stay In Vegas – A Review Of Las Vegas DUI Penalties

Las Vegas DUI Penalties

A DUI conviction in Nevada earns offenders more than just a slap on the wrist and a hefty fine. DUIs result in a complicated assortment of consequences that can easily require thousands of dollars, hours of time, and huge amounts of energy.

Las Vegas has two types of DUI penalties—administrative and criminal.

Las Vegas at night, courtesy of Moyan_Brenn via Flickr

Administrative Penalties

Administrative penalties are imposed by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on you and your license, including the following fees:

  • $65 driver license reinstatement fee
  • $35 Victims Compensation Civil Penalty
  • $21.75 driver license application fee

Keep in mind the administrative penalties above are only applicable to a first DUI offense.  Consequences can become more severe for each additional offense.

Criminal penalties

Criminal penalties are enforced by the courts. For drivers over the age of 21, the following lists provide the criminal penalties for different convictions.

First Conviction:

  • Driver license revoked for 90 days
  • Jail sentence up to six months
    • Or 96 hours of community service
    • Up to $1,000 fine
    • Mandatory DUI school attendance (average cost is $150)
    • Possible order to attend a substance-abuse treatment program

Second Conviction in Seven Years:

  • Driver license revoked for one year
  • Jail sentence or home arrest up to six months
  • Up to $1,000 fine
  • Up to 200 hours of mandatory community service
  • Possible car registration suspension
  • Possible order to attend a substance-abuse treatment program
    • Or undergo clinical supervision for up to one year

Third Conviction in Seven Years:

  • Driver license revoked for three years
  • Prison sentence up to six years
  • Fine up to $5,000
  • Possible car registration suspension

Beyond the penalties listed above that are based on number of offenses, DUIs that cause death or serious injury can result in additional punishments that are significantly more severe. Even on the first offense, a DUI that causes death or serious injury can result in a prison sentence up to 20 years, a fine up to $5,000, and a driver license revocation of three years.

Source: DMV.org, DUI & DWI in Nevada, http://www.dmv.org/nv-nevada/automotive-law/dui.php

DUI Penalties in Atlanta, Georgia

Everyone knows that if they are charged with a DUI, they’re going to pay a serious fine.  The fine is probably the most recognized and immediate consequence of a DUI conviction and, in Georgia, drivers over 21 pay the following:

  • First Offense: $300-$1,000 fine
  • Second Offense: $600- $1,000 fine
  • Third Offense: $1,000-$5,000 fine

Although fines are the most recognized consequence, there are several other costly penalties that drivers often fail to consider.  Here is a list of the additional penalties you can expect if you or someone you know is charged with a DUI in Atlanta.  Brace yourself.

Atlanta Georgia DUI Checkpoint

Photo Courtesy Of of versageek via Flickr

First Offense DUI Penalties                                                                                

Second Offense DUI Penalties                                                                                                        

  • 48 hours MINIMUM in jail
  • 3 year license suspension
  • 30 days community service
  • $210 license reinstatement fee
  • $298 DUI Alcohol/Drug Risk Reduction Program
  • Clinical Evaluation

Third Offense DUI Penalties

  • Habitual Violator (HV) Status
  • License revoked for 5 years plus license plate confiscation
  • 15 days MINIMUM in jail
  • 30 days community service
  • $298 DUI Alcohol/Drug Risk Reduction Program
  • Name, address, and photo published in your local newspaper

Considering all of these penalties, the actual cost of a DUI in Georgia goes far beyond the initial fine and can easily amount to thousands of dollars.

Source: DMV.org, DUI & DWI in Georgia