Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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Pros and Cons of Uber and Lyft

Uber and Lyft are ride-sharing apps that are growing in popularity among residents and visitors in Tacoma, Washington and across the United States. There are pros and cons to both of the apps, so we have created a visual list to compare the two in order to help you choose the best ride-sharing app for your needs.

Uber Vs. Lyft

Click the image above to view the infographic.

DUIs in Tacoma

Two major DUI crashes occurred in Tacoma this past February, resulting in two fatalities. Here’s a quick look at what happened:

duiPuyallup, Feb. 8

On Monday, Feb. 8, a 46-year-old man was driving home from work when a drunk driver hit his vehicle, according to KIRO 7 News. The driver, a 24-year-old woman, reportedly ran a red light at the Puyallup intersection of South Meridian and Pioneer. It was approximately 11:22 p.m. when her pickup truck T-boned a Honda civic and dragged it 80 feet, killing the man inside.

According to reports, the woman “seemed incoherent at the scene and did poorly in a field sobriety test.” Puyallup police officers reported smelling alcohol on her breath and stated that her speech was slurred. She admitted to the authorities that she had been drinking earlier that night, and that shebut thought she had hit a parked car.

She was booked on suspicion of vehicular homicide and her bail was set at $35,000. According to KIRO 7 News, her BAC level could not be confirmed at the time of her booking and therefore it was unknown if she was legally drunk while driving. However, her actions that night suggest she probably was. Police on the scene reported that she “only pretended to blow during two breathalyzer tests” after the crash and her BAC levels had to be tested in a blood draw test.

On the day of her booking, the situation took an interesting when the deceased man’s 16-year-old daughter used the opportunity to make a passionate plea against those who drive under the influence. She talked with reporters and photographers at the Puyallup Police Department just two days after her father was killed in the accident.

The teen expressed her grief, saying that her father will not be able to see her graduate from high school. She also asked others who consider drinking and driving to “stop and realize that you might change a life forever.”

Tacoma, Feb. 27

Another fatal DUI incident occurred at the end of the month in Tacoma, which killed one and injured three others. According to KOMO News, a 25-year-old Tacoma man was driving northbound at Interstate 5 and milepost 136 when he lost control of his vehicle. Authorities have stated that his speed and driving under the influence caused the man to lose control. There were three male passengers in the vehicle with him, ages 19, 25, and 26.

The 19-year-old passenger died in the accident, which occurred around 12:30 a.m., while the three other men were rushed to the local hospital for treatment. Charges are expected to follow.

Our legal team extends our deepest condolences to the friends and family members of those who have died from drunk driving crashes, and we urge all Tacoma residents to be mindful of your actions when alcohol is involved. If you’ve been in a DUI-related accident in Tacoma, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden for legal assistance.


Tacoma’s Temporary Moratorium on Marijuana Is Now in Full Effect

Although the state of Washington has legalized recreational marijuana usage, the City of Tacoma has placed a temporary hold on new retail operations associated with marijuana use.

Specifically, it prohibits new retail marijuana stores from opening up while the moratorium is active, but the nine state-licensed marijuana retail stores already operating in Tacoma will be allowed to keep their doors open throughout this period. This temporary moratorium could last as long as six months, but might only last four or five months if Tacoma city officials are able to revise marijuana-related regulations.

The Tacoma City Council unanimously passed this decision on January 12th. Now, the Tacoma Planning Commission will seek to devise new rules for the maximum number of marijuana-related storefronts there. The issue of medical and recreational marijuana legislation has been present in Tacoma ever since the state legalized the drug for recreational use, but this official pause is the first time that city officials have made an effort to revise older regulations in order to comply with newer state regulations. Up until now, marijuana usage has been a sort of gray area for Tacoma residents and regulations haven’t been strictly enforced.

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Marijuana breathalyzers coming soon to Washington?

Marijuana breathalyzers could be coming to Washington sometime this year, according to researchers at Washington State University. The breathalyzers would be a welcome tool for police, as recognizing individuals who are driving high can be a challenge.


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Marijuana breathalyzers coming soon to Washington?

Marijuana breathalyzers could be coming to Washington sometime this year, according to researchers at Washington State University. The breathalyzers would be a welcome tool for police, as recognizing individuals who are driving high can be a challenge.

What does this mean for drivers?

Not much right now. These breathalyzers will likely not be admitted or trusted for years to come. It is still important that Washington drivers know their rights under the law. In the state of Washington, a person cannot have more than 5 nanograms of THC (marijuana) per milliliter of blood to safely operate a vehicle. Currently, if an officer suspects that you are intoxicated with marijuana, they will ask you to submit to a drug recognition evaluation. Just like a field sobriety test performed when an alcohol DUI is suspected, this test is voluntary.

Police officers often look out for signs that might indicate a person is driving under the influence, such as

  • The smell of cannabis
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Speech irregularities
  • Marijuana inside the vehicle

Those who are pulled over for a marijuana DUI are typically stopped for similar reasons as alcohol DUIs. However, the body processes marijuana differently than it does alcohol. The same amount of marijuana can affect a chronic smoker and a new user very differently.

The safest thing to do is not risk operating a motor vehicle after consuming marijuana. Ask a trusted family member or friend to give you a ride, call a taxi or Uber driver, or wait to drive until you are completely sober. Knowing your limit as a marijuana user is very important. Much like a new medicine, you are advised to see how the drug will affect you before operating a vehicle.

Considering the consequences of a marijuana DUI, it’s not worth the risk of operating a vehicle impaired. A first marijuana DUI offense in Washington includes a 90 day license suspension and fines. A conviction could extend this punishment for up to four years. Of course, with more convictions come more severe penalties. A second or third conviction within seven years can yield a fine of up to $5,000 and between 30 days to one year in jail, not to mention license suspension for several years.

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Tacoma Raises Minimum Wage

Initiative 1B Passes

In Pierce County, Washington, on November 3, 2015, Tacoma passed ballot Initiative No. 1B and defeated Initiative No. 1A. Initiative No. 1A would raise the minimum wage for Tacoma, Washington, to $15 an hour. Initiative No. 1B was the city proposed alternative to 1A and only raises the city’s minimum wage to $12 an hour.

The measure only passed by a small majority of voters, with approximately 59 percent of voters voting for the initiative to pass. The initiative had two questions; the first was whether to approve any wage increase at all, and the second was a matter of which proposed minimum wage measure should be enacted.

With the passing of 1B, minimum wage will be raised to $12 an hour. This affects business owners and employees alike.

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6 Things to Know After Your First DUI

6 Things to Know After Your First DUIIf you are facing your first DUI charge, there are likely a lot of concerns running through your head.  Compounded with the stress of being charged with a DUI, it might be hard to understand all that is happening to you currently.  We have a list of important considerations to keep in mind when facing DUI charges:

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September Events in Tacoma

Summer is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! There are still plenty of events happening in the Tacoma, Washington area in the next several weeks. We’ve compiled a list for you and the family to enjoy your time together as schedules begin to pick up again.

School is back in session, and work is in full swing, but we know how important it is to be able to enjoy yourself with family and friends, in addition to winding down from a long day or week at the office.

The Broadway Farmer’s Market

When: Every Thursday through October

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Between 9th and 11th street, Tacoma, WA

How Much: FREE!

What better way to welcome the fall than with a farmer’s market? The Broadway Farmer’s Market began in 1990, and this will be the place to be on Thursdays this fall. You can enjoy local produce, chef demonstrations, gardening tips and entertainment for the whole family.

Plants Live at the Zoo

When: Sunday, September 6

Time: 10:00 am

Where: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, 5400 N Pearl St., Tacoma, WA

How Much: Free with paid admission or membership

Typically, we go to the zoo the check out all of the incredible animals. On Sunday, September 6, the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will be giving one-hour garden tours of the beautiful plant-life. You can find out more about attracting butterflies and bees, among other animals, to your own garden!

You can learn more about this event here.


Frost Park Chalk Off: Season 8

When: Friday, September 18

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Where: Frost Park, Corner of 9th and Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA

How Much: FREE (chalk included!)

This event will be taking place every Friday through October, but you won’t want to miss the first of the season! Are you looking to revisit your creative youth? The Frost Park Chalk Off is great for the entire family, and it gives you a chance to release your inner creativity via drawing with sidewalk chalk.

This event has a competitive side, too. There will be one weekly winner of the chalk drawing competition, and everyone participating will have a chance to win prizes!

The Washington State Fair

When: Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 27

Time: Available on their website.

Where: Washington State Fair Event Center, 110 9th Ave. SW, Puyallup, WA, 98371

How Much: Prices Available on their website.

 This is the largest fair in the state of Washington, and you won’t want to miss it! If you’re willing to make the (relatively short) trip over to Puyallup, we would love to see you there.

The fair began in 1900, and it is still going strong every year. You can enjoy delicious food, craft beer and live entertainment. Headliners range from Duran Duran, Keith Urban and Iggy Azalea all the way to Jason Derulo,  Fifth Harmony and Dan + Shay.

Learn more about the fair here.

We are looking forward to seeing you at all of these events! As always, if you are planning on drinking at these events, make sure you have a designated driver to bring you there and back safely.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or has gotten a traffic ticket in Tacoma or Lakewood, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden are here to help. Call us today!

What Happens at Court After a DUI Arrest?

August Bowden InfographicSo, you were charged with a DUI. Click the infographic to learn about what you can expect on your court date. If you have additional questions, contact the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden today. We have an office that is conveniently located in Lakewood, WA.

What’s Up in Tacoma?

Is that mid-Summer boredom beginning to kick in? We know the feeling. It’s not quite time for the kids to go back to school yet, but you have just about exhausted all of your planned activities for the family in a couple short months. Summer is never easy because you want to find the perfect balance of productivity, both at work and around the house, and leisurely activities to keep you grounded. We know from experience that the best way to cure a little summer boredom is with some good, old-fashioned, fun! We collected some information about upcoming events near our Tacoma, Washington office in August!

Ferris Wheel

We always advocate for being safe at these types of events which may include having a designated driver to take care of the group’s travels.

Below are some events in the Tacoma area that are coming in the upcoming several weeks:

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