As discussed many times before on this blog, anyone can be the subject of a DUI case, even government officials. An article published by the Seattle Times tells the story of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn who recently pled guilty to DUI in Kittitas County. Dunn has served as a councilmember of the metropolitan King County Council since February 2005. He was arrested last month after driving his pickup truck into a ditch. The article reports that Dunn was taken back to his cabin by a neighbor after the crash but when police arrived to investigate they found him in a state suggesting he had been drinking. The author writes:
One deputy wrote in a report he could “smell the obvious odor of intoxicants” coming from Dunn, whose eyes were “obviously bloodshot and watery.”
When law-enforcement suggested that alcohol been a factor in the crash, Dunn reportedly admitted that that was indeed the case. Dunn has previously admitted to battling alcohol addiction and voluntarily completed an inpatient alcohol treatment program at a facility in Los Angeles in 2011. Because he was a first-time offender, his attorney recommended that he opt for deferred prosecution and enroll in alcohol treatment in hopes that the charge would eventually be dismissed. However, Dunn reportedly felt that he should bear the punishment that he was entitled to and pled guilty to DUI last week. He was sentenced to serve one day in jail as well as serve probation and pay about $3500 in fines and probation costs. Additionally, he was sentenced to one year of driver's license suspension for refusing to take a breath test at the time of his arrest.
Though Dunn's sentence may seem light to some, Seattle DUI attorneys do not recommend pleading guilty to your DUI charges without consulting a lawyer first. When a person enters a guilty plea, they are admitting that they have broken the law and accepting whatever punishment the judge chooses to place on them. Under Washington law, a first time DUI offender can be sentenced to up to 365 days in jail as well as $5,000 in fines and 90 days of license suspension. The best course of action, when facing any type of DUI charge, is to contact an experienced Seattle DUI defense lawyer right away. An attorney can give you more details about what kind of sentence you can expect when entering a guilty plea and what your defense options are.