If convicted of a DUI, drivers can face serious consequences. When an accident occurs that is suspected to be the result of drunk driving or drug use, especially one that results in injury to pedestrians or passengers, the consequences can be even more severe. If someone is arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is important that they know how the process works and what their rights are so that they can mount the best DUI defense possible.
On Jan. 8 at 7:15 a.m., a Metro bus driver was driving along Third Avenue near Stewart Street in downtown Seattle when he struck a pedestrian who allegedly walked in front of the bus. Passengers on the bus report that the pedestrian was first struck by the bus's bike rack before hitting the windshield, which ultimately shattered. The pedestrian was thrown by the impact, landing roughly 15 feet away.
The injured 32-year-old victim was disoriented and tried to leave the scene of the crash despite witnesses trying to stop him. Emergency medical personnel eventually found him at a nearby Starbucks and transported him to Harborview Medical Center. The victim's injuries were reported to be non-life threatening.
Seattle law enforcement officials called in a drug recognition expert to observe the bus driver, who ultimately concluded that the driver was displaying signs of alcohol or drug use. Police arrested the bus driver and transported him to the hospital to have blood drawn for a toxicology screening. The results of that test are still pending. The driver was released to his supervisors at Metro Transit. They performed a Breathalyzer test, which came up negative.
In the state of Washington, a person can be arrested for operating under the influence on suspicion alone after observed behavior. If convicted, the consequences can include license suspension or loss, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device, hefty fines and fees, mandatory alcohol treatment or even jail time. It is important that people understand how the legal process works and what their rights are to avoid being falsely convicted or to minimize the consequences if convicted.
Source: kirotv.com, "Metro bus driver arrested for possible DUI after crash with pedestrian," Jan. 8, 2013