DUI Overview - Boating Under Influence


Boating Under The Influence, BUI? Yes, you can get arrested for boating under the influence of alcohol just like when you are driving a car! If you have been arrested for being an intoxicated boater in Spokane or Eastern Washington, you need a competent BUI Attorney to defend you.

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Canadian Travel with a DUI/DWI on your record

Canadian Travel with a DUI/DWI on your record

People often wish to travel to Canada for recreation or employment. However, with greater security and law enforcement at the border, a trip to Canada is becoming increasingly difficult for people with criminal charges. Canadian immigration law is as complicated as U.S. immigration law. Moreover, border officials have broad discretion about who can and cannot enter Canada. This discretion is granted both by Canadian law and by the fact that a person denied entry at the border may not have much recourse at that time.

Many convictions in the United States including DUI, Reckless Driving, and Negligent Driving 1, can render a person inadmissible to Canada. Inadmissibility is determined by comparing the elements of the crime in the U.S. with the elements of Canadian criminal offenses: For people who have traveled smoothly back and forth to Canada in the past, being refused entry at the border can catch them completely off guard, be frustrating, and feel embarrassing. It is important that lawyers advise clients of the potential issues and how to increase the chances that they will be granted entry into Canada.

These questions may be bothering you. Let's address them.

First, will border officials ask you about criminal charges and, if so, how should you respond?
A Canadian immigration official told me at the Blaine Border Crossing that guards attempt to be as random as possible when choosing who to question about criminal charges and they do not question everyone. Therefore, you may sail through the border without a hitch. If you are not questioned, you should not volunteer any information about prior convictions or pending criminal charges.

If questioned by a border official about criminal matters, you should answer honestly. According to the immigration official I contacted, immigration officials have access to Washington State DOL records, FBI records, and criminal history data from fill states. If a border official is asking about criminal history, he probably has it on a computer screen in front of him. It is much easier for you to overcome inadmissibility due to criminality than due to misrepresentation.

While you should answer honestly about criminal matters -you should not provide specific details about pending charges. If you admit sufficient information to a border official about a pending DUI case, you can be denied entry even though not convicted. If you have a pending DUI, a letter from your attorney with a basic summary of the procedural status of the case would be helpful. Generally, border officials do not deny entry to someone with a pending DUI. This is especially true for a person on a deferred prosecution because alcoholism, in and of itself, does not make someone inadmissible.

Second, how can you enter Canada if convicted of a inadmissible offense?
There are four possible options: a temporary resident permit; a criminal rehabilitation; being deemed rehabilitated; and finally, an expungement of the inadmissible conviction.

There are two routes to obtaining a temporary resident permit. First, you can simply appear at the border and apply for one if denied entry due to a conviction. Border officials have discretion in granting such an application. The advantage of an application at the border is that, generally, less paperwork is required. Such a permit is generally for a single entry. If a client wishes to obtain a multiple entry permit or wants assurance ahead of time that he or she will be allowed into Canada, he or she can apply for a temporary resident permit at a Canadian consulate in the United States.

If more than five years have passed since the completion of your sentence, you may apply for criminal rehabilitation. This process generally takes about a year - but will permanently resolve your admissibility to Canada dilemma. The paperwork required for a temporary resident permit or an application for criminal rehabilitation can be extensive and the assistance of an attorney experienced with Canadian immigration procedures is extremely helpful.

If more than ten years have passed since the completion of your sentence, you can be deemed rehabilitated at a port of entry to Canada. This is not a formal application process, but is assessed by immigration officials at the border and does not happen automatically after ten years. If you are eligible after ten years, but obtain another conviction later-you would now have two convictions and become inadmissible.

Finally, under some circumstances it may be easier to bring a motion to vacate and expunge a conviction in the U.S. to facilitate entry to Canada. A DUI conviction cannot be vacated. This procedure would only work for other criminal charges. Canadian officials will generally treat an expungement as the equivalent of no conviction. However, crimes must be assessed on an individual basis.


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Important DUI Information For Spokane Drivers

Important DUI Information For Spokane Drivers

Many people have heard stories about DUI arrests or penalties in Washington and think that they know enough to make an informed decision if they ever face the situation themselves here in Spokane. However, there is often DUI information that drivers overlook or have not heard about. Here are a few important things to know about DUI arrests and consequences.

Most drivers misunderstand what their rights are after a DUI arrest. If you are pulled over and asked to do a physical sobriety test, you have the option of politely refusing that test without later consequence. Although you can refuse other tests such as chemical tests, Washington has an implied consent law, which means that you consent to such tests in exchange for using the roadways. Refusal to take these tests can lead to license suspension and be used against you after your arrest. Some drivers believe that they can avoid a DUI arrest and conviction by simply refusing to take a blood alcohol content level test, but this will bring its own consequences.

Contact Us via Email for your free initial DUI consultation. Walk-ins always welcome.

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Furthermore, many drivers underestimate the importance of enlisting the help of an attorney. In some situations, although the driver arrested for DUI might not realize it, the arresting officer might make a mistake that renders the arrest or the results of a sobriety test meaningless. In other cases, even if fines or jail time are inescapable, an attorney may be able to minimize the amounts that are sentenced. A DUI conviction can have lasting consequences, and many people who handle their DUI arrest without the help of an attorney do not have all of the information necessary to make the best decision. At the very least, an attorney can give you accurate DUI information and advise you of your rights and possible courses of action.

The majority of people perceive DUI charges as fairly common and think that they have enough information to deal with the situation. However, working with an expert DUI attorney with experience in Spokane's Courts is more worthwhile than many people realize. Besides bettering your chance of getting back to your regular life with minimal consequences, an expert can provide all of the legal DUI information and advice that you need to avoid making a costly mistake.

We have reasonable fees and can make arrangements to fit your budget.


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Spokane DUI Attorney Legal Advice

Spokane DUI Attorney Legal Advice

Most likely you have heard a lot about the risks of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, and know most of the reasons why it is a bad idea to risk drinking and driving, but if you are under 21 there are rules you may not be aware of, that can increase your chances of a DUI arrest with much less drinking then you might think. You may be aware that the legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) in all 50 states currently is at .08% BAC that is considered legally intoxicated. You may have calculated exactly how many drinks over what time span will be likely to keep you below the .08% level (generally four normal drinks over two hours for a 170 pound man will get you to that amount of alcohol in your blood). But if you are under 21 and relying on those facts that you know, it may be what you don't know that gets you arrested and in need of a Spokane DUI attorney.

Zero Tolerance and What it Can Mean to You

All 50 states have 'Zero Tolerance' laws that say that the maximum allowed BAC for drivers under 21 year old is .02%. The amount of alcohol that it will take you to get to that level, obviously, is significantly lower than the four drinks in two hours that you may have memorized as your 'safety zone' when learning about DUI law. And if you are under 21, and you make that error, and you drive a car with a BAC above .02%, the law says that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, and you will need to talk to a Spokane DUI attorney if you are arrested.

Be Smart, Drive Safe and Sober

The best option by far is to avoid the risk and arrange for a designated driver if you are drinking. Consider other options like budgeting for a cab ride or keeping a short list of good friends who are willing to help keep you out of trouble, and will come pick you up if you are drinking. Whatever it takes, learn how to eliminate the risk of DUI, avoid the need to call a Spokane DUI attorney (and the bills that come with that option), and stay safer.


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The Strange DUI: Physical Control of The Vehicle

The Strange DUI: Physical Control
It is best to recognize when you are driving and appreciably affected by alcohol. Do not ignore debilitating signs of poor coordination and the commission of traffic violations.

Get off the road immediately. Try to park properly in an establishmentís parking lot or a rest area. If these are unavailable, park your vehicle well within a shoulder, turn off the ignition and take the keys out of the ignition. Put the keys in your pocket or in the glove compartment. Seat yourself in the rear interior of your vehicle. Call for a ride home.

RCW 46.61.504 and 2008 c 282 s 21 are each amended to reads as follows:

(1) A person is guilty of being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person has actual physical control of a vehicle within this state:

(a) And the person has, within two hours after being in actual physical control of the vehicle, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the personís breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or

(c) While the person is under the combine4d influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.

(2) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (1) (a) of this section which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol after the time of being in actual physical control of the vehicle and before the administration of an analysis of the personís breath or blood to cause the defendantís alcohol concentration to be 0.08 or more within two hours after being in such control. The court shall not admit evidence of this defense unless the defendant notifies the prosecution prior to the omnibus or pretrial hearing in the case of the defendantís intent to assert the affirmative defense.


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DUI DWI Physical Control And Defenses

RCW 46.61.502 and 2008 c 282 s 20 are each amended to reads as follows:
(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or

(c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.

(2) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against a charge of violating this section.

(3) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (1) (a) of this section which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol after the time of driving and before the administration of an analysis of the person's breath or blood to cause the defendant's alcohol concentration to be 0.08 or more within two hours after driving. The court shall not admit evidence of this defense unless the defendant notifies the prosecution prior to the omnibus or pretrial hearing in the case of the defendant's intent to assert the affirmative defense.

My Legal Commentary
Many people think that prescription drugs should be an excuse or partial excuse for a DUI or Physical Control charge. In Washington, legal intoxication need not only involve alcohol; it can include a combination of alcohol and medically necessary prescription drugs, prescription drugs alone, or recreational drugs.

This state of affairs makes it very difficult for persons who take medicine to reasonably regulate their drinking. The interaction of prescription drugs and alcohol generally leads to a higher blood alcohol level. Law enforcement does not care about the need an individual to take prescription drugs.

Moreover, illegal (recreational) drugs detected in a blood test are looked upon with even more contempt by the Prosecutor. This contempt is generally reflected in a more demanding drug and alcohol treatment program along with less of a tendency for favorable negotiation by the Prosecutor.

The defense of drinking after driving is extremely difficult to assert without sober witnesses and an expert toxicologist. For most people, the cost alone is prohibitive.


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Ignition Interlock Devices

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A person may apply for an ignition interlock driver's license anytime, including immediately after receiving the notices under RCW 46.320.308 or after his or her license is suspended, revoked, or denied.

The installation of an ignition interlock device is not necessary on vehicles owned, leased, or rented by a person's employer and on those vehicles whose care and/or maintenance is the temporary responsibility of the employer, and driven at the direction of a person's employer as a requirement of employment during working hours. The person must provide the Department of Licensing with a declaration pursuant to RCW 9A.72.085 from his or her employer stating that the person's employment requires the person to operate a vehicle owned by the employer or other persons during working hours.

My Legal Commentary
The installation of an IID represents a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it allows a person to continue driving under inconvenience and payment of fees as well as costs. On the other hand, an IID Driver's License may be cancelled if the holder has been convicted of driving a vehicle in violation of court-ordered or Department of Licensing conditions.

If a driver so chooses, he or she can avoid driving altogether for the suspension or revocation period. However, the inconvenience of public transportation must be weighed against the monthly costs and presence of the IID which can be humiliating and quite expensive.

The Department may waive the requirement for the use of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) if it concludes that such devices are not reasonably available in the local area.

The installation of an IID is not necessarily on vehicles owned, leased, or rented by a person's employer and on those vehicles whose care and/or maintenance is the temporary responsibility of the employer, and driven at the direction of a person's employer as a requirement of employment during working hours. The person must provide the Department with a declaration pursuant to RCW 9A.72.085 from his or her employer stating that the person's employment requires the person to operate a vehicle owned by the employer or other persons during working hours.

The Ignition Interlock Device shall be calibrated to prevent the motor vehicle from being started when the breath sample provided has an alcohol concentration of 0.025 or more.

Anyone who manipulates an IID by having a higher breath alcohol concentration, failing to take a re-test and not meeting maintenance or repair requirements is looking for more trouble and more time. A prior plea deal could also fall apart.

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Negligent Driving In The First Degree And Ignition Interlock Requirement

Negligent Driving In The First Degree And Ignition Interlock Requirement

Did you know that obtaining a 'Negligent Driving in the First Degree' is usually an excellent plea alternative to a DUI? However, along with a Reckless Driving plea after an initial DUI charge, Negligent Driving in the First Degree shall lead to an ignition interlock requirement.

RCW 46.61.5249 and 1997 c 66 s 4 are each amended to reads as follows:
A person is guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or an illegal drug.

It is an affirmative defense to negligent driving in the first degree by means of exhibiting the effects of having consumed an illegal drug that must be proved by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence. that the driver has a valid prescription for the drug consumed, and has been consuming it according to the prescription directions and warnings. Negligent driving in the first degree is a misdemeanor.

Negligent means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.

Exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor means that a person has the odor of liquor on his or her breath, or that by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise exhibits that he or she has consumed liquor, and either:
(i) Is in possession of or in close proximity to a container that has or recently ad liquor in it; or
(ii) Is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed liquor.

Exhibiting the effects of having consumed an illegal drug means that a person by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise exhibits that he or she has consumed an illegal drug and either:
(i) Is in possession of an illegal drug; or
(ii) Is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed an illegal drug.

Illegal drug means a controlled substance under chapter 69.50 RCW for which the driver does not have a valid prescription or that is not being consumed in accordance with the prescription directions and warnings, or a legend drug under chapter 69.41 RCW for which the driver does to have a valid prescription or that is not being consumed in accordance with the prescription directions and warnings.

Any act prohibited by this section that also constitutes a crime under any other law of this state may be the basis of prosecution under such other law notwithstanding that it may also be the basis for prosecution under this section.

My Legal Commentary
Obtaining a Negligent Driving in the First Degree is usually an excellent plea alternative to a DUI. However, along with a Reckless Driving plea after an initial DUI charge, Negligent Driving in the First Degree shall lead to an ignition interlock requirement. Moreover, if the person is later charged with another DUI, the prior reduced pleas of Reckless Driving and Negligent Driving 151 Degree are resurrected as DUIs for purposes of mandatory minimum sentencing. Such sentencing requires substantial jail time. Remember, this scenario evolves if all the offenses took place within 7 years.

There is some consolation because the charge of Negligent Driving 151 Degree does not arbitrarily penalize a person who takes prescription drugs for valid medical purposes. Dismissal may be possible if the medicated person strictly follows prescription instructions. The proof required is not overwhelming and medical testimony should add credibility to this defense.

A person convicted of negligent driving in the first degree who has one or more prior offenses as defined in RCW 46.61.5055 (14) within seven years shall be required, under RCW 46.20.720, to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the person.

Under the above circumstances, a continuance without findings to a Negligent Driving 2nd Degree (civil infraction, not a crime) could be crafted for handling the Negligent Driving First Degree charge. However, prompt action and proper behavior by the charged person must be taken for the continuance to be accepted by the Prosecutor. Then, an ignition interlock requirement might be avoided.

Download the complete DUI & Negligent Driving Sentencing Guide


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DUI Passenger Involvement

DUI Passenger Involvement

Did you know your DUI penalty could be more severe if you have passengers in the car with you? These persons are extremely vulnerable to the dangerous consequences of an intoxicated driver's actions.

A) If a person who Is convicted of a violation of RCW 46.61.502 (Driving While Intoxicated) or 46.61.504 (Physical Control While Under the Influence) committed the offense while a passenger under the age of sixteen was In the vehicle. the court shall:

1.In any case in which the installation and use of an Interlock or other device is not mandatory under RCW 46.20.720 or other law. Order the use of such a device for not less than sixty days following the restoration of the person's license, permit, or nonresident driving privileges; and

2.In any case in which the installation and use of such a device Is otherwise mandatory, order the use of such a device for an additional sixty days.

B)In exercising Its discretion in setting penalties within the limits allowed by this section the court shall particularly consider the following:

1. The person's driving at the time of the offense was responsible for Injury or damage to another or another's property; and

2. Whether at the time of the offense the person was driving or In physical control of a vehicle with one or more passengers.

C) The license, permit, or nonresident privilege of a person convicted of driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the Influence of Intoxicating liquor or drugs must:

1. If the person's alcohol concentration was less than 0.15, or if for reasons other than the person's refusal to take a test offered under RCW 46.20.308 there is no test result Indicating the person's alcohol concentration:

2. Where there has been no prior offense within seven years, be suspended or denied by the department for ninety days;

3. Where there has been one prior offense within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for two years;

D) Where there have been two or more prior offenses within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for three years;

1. If the person's alcohol concentration was at least 0.15

E) Where there has been no prior offense within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for one year;

F) Where there has been one prior offense within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for nine hundred days; or

G) Where there have been two or more prior offenses within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for four years; or

H) If by reason of the person's refusal to take a test offered under RCW 46.20.308, there Is no test result indicating the person's alcohol concentration:

1. There have been no prior offenses within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for two years;

2. Where there has been one prior offense within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for three years; or

3. Where there have been two or more previous offenses within seven years, be revoked or denied by the department for four years.

My Legal Commentary

The State is especially concerned about the physical and emotional welfare of passengers who frequently are relatives or close friends of the driver. These persons are extremely vulnerable to the dangerous consequences of an Intoxicated driver's actions.

Please make sure that sober adults are in the vehicle if you have consumed alcohol or have a sober adult take the wheel to avoid more severe penalties.


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Reckless Driving and DUI Charges

Reckless Driving and DUI Charges

Do not be overconfident about a negotiated resolution of a DUI with a plea to reckless driving. The Department of Licensing is not now concerned with the nature of the conviction, but the original charge of DUI.

It will not allow the presence of drugs and/or alcohol to go unpunished despite a non-DUI conviction. The rationale is the overall safety of the community. The burden on the convicted party will be costly and potentially job-threatening.

Indirectly, the Department of Licensing has reserved the right to take your livelihood away from you or seriously threaten it.

RCW 46.61.500 and 1990 c 291 s 1are each amended to reads as follows:

(1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.

(2) (a) Except as provided under (b) of this subsection, a person convicted of reckless driving who has one or more prior offenses as defined in RCW 46.61.5055 (14) within seven years shall be required, under RCW 46.20. 720, to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the p-person if the conviction is the result of a charge that was originally filed as a violation of RCW 46.61.502, 46.61.504, or an equivalent local ordinance.

(b) A person convicted of reckless driving shall be required, under RCW 46.20.720, to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the person if the conviction is the result of a charge that was originally filed as a violation of RCW 46.61.520 committed while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or RCW 46.61.522 committed while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.


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Important DUI Information For Spokane Drivers
Important DUI Information For Spokane Drivers
Spokane DUI Attorney Legal Advice
Spokane DUI Attorney Legal Advice
The Strange DUI: Physical Control of The VehicleDUI DWI Physical Control And DefensesIgnition Interlock Devices
Ignition Interlock Devices
Negligent Driving In The First Degree And Ignition Interlock Requirement
Negligent Driving In The First Degree And Ignition Interlock Requirement
DUI Passenger Involvement
DUI Passenger Involvement
Reckless Driving and DUI Charges
Reckless Driving and DUI Charges
 

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Nicholas George - Spokane Criminal Attorney & DUI Attorney

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Nicholas George - Spokane Criminal Attorney & DUI Attorney

1312 N. Monroe, Suite 263, Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 474-1116
Toll Free: 844-747-9011
Fax: 509-315-4355

 

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