Many residents in Washington may not believe they can be pulled over for driving under the influence, but that should be expected if a driver exhibits suspicious behavior on the road. A DUI charge can lead to lifelong consequences, including a criminal record, heavy fines and jail time. Because of this, obtaining a proper DUI defense is crucial to avoiding or minimizing long-term penalties.
Washington residents may be familiar with Ryan Mello, a councilman who was recently charged for driving while intoxicated due to an alleged drunk driving incident on Jan. 20. According to reports, the driver was pulled over by a state trooper on Interstate 705 after the officer observed that the driver had suspiciously changed lanes several times on northbound Interstate 5. He allegedly confessed to drinking a glass of wine and a rum and Coke only an hour beforehand.
A report released by the Washington State Patrol showed a recording of 0.088 and 0.09 for the driver's blood-alcohol-content level. Mello's arraignment date cannot be set until the court summons has been received, according to the prosecuting attorney. If the man is convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of $5,000 and/or 364 days of jail time per his charging papers.
While it may be fine to indulge in a drink or two, individuals are still required to respect the law and not drive while under the influence. Drivers who wish to avoid serious DUI charges need to take the necessary steps to fully understand their rights in court and all their available legal options to ensure a strong defense.
Source: The News Tribune, "Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello charged with DUI," Stacia Glenn, Feb. 20, 2013