A Washington man has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence for the eighth time. The man has also been charged with a hit and run involving a parked car and for driving without an ignition interlock device in violation of a requirement for his previous DUI convictions. Police arrested the man after following a trail of debris which led them to his heavily damaged Audi.
Despite his previous DUI arrests, the suspect has never been charged with a felony DUI. In Washington, an individual is charged with a felony DUI if they are convicted of more than three DUIs in the previous ten years. The man's DUI convictions have been spaced far enough apart to allow him to avoid facing felony charges under the state law. According to reports, this has caused a public outcry, and the Washington state legislature is considering amending the felony DUI law. Senate Bill 5299 would allow felony charges to be brought against individuals who have had three DUI convictions within the past fifteen years, an increase from the current ten-year look-back period.
Defense attorney Steve Karimi explains the man's charges.
Felony DUI Conviction
Individuals convicted of a felony DUI in Washington face serious consequences. The sentencing for a felony DUI is outlined in Chapter 9.94A RCW. A jail sentence of six years and two months is the maximum penalty imposed by the sentencing guidelines. An individual's previous felony and non-felony DUI convictions are considered when determining a sentence. Fines and driver's license revocation are also possible.
Washington Hit and Run Charges
Washington law requires that a driver who hits an unattended car stop and then either tries to find and notify the owner of the other vehicle or leaves behind a written note stating their name and contact information. If a driver fails to do this, they may face misdemeanor hit and run charges. In some cases, an individual may face these charges if their note went unnoticed by the other vehicle's owner.
Ignition Interlock Devices
Individuals convicted of their first DUI are required by state law to have an interlock ignition device installed on their car for at least one year. Multiple DUI convictions may result in a driver having to comply with interlock device requirements for a period of up to ten years. In this man's case, he was required to have an interlock device in any car that he drives for ten years, but the vehicle he was driving did not. There are exceptions to the interlock device requirements if an individual is driving a vehicle owned by their employer.
Contact Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
If you've been charged with a DUI in Washington, whether it's your first charge or one of several, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. A DUI conviction can have serious consequences on your life, your reputation, and your future. Contact us at (206) 621-8777 or fill out our online case evaluation form for experienced help with defending your charges.