An arrest for driving under the influence knows no boundaries of age, sex, race, or economic status.
The Truth is, Anyone can Make a Mistake.
Residents of Lakewood, Tacoma, and throughout Pierce County; we are all prone to making a decision that turn our lives in a direction we didn’t expect.
Nobody expects to be pulled over by a police officer. When you are pulled over, and after drinking alcohol, taking medication, or both, you become at risk for being charged with a DUI.
Whether it is the first time you’ve been pulled over or the third, being charged with driving under the influence is beyond confusing and incredibly stressful. If not approached correctly, being charged with a DUI can be detrimental to the life you’ve worked so hard to build.
When you are charged with a DUI, you are at a crossroads. While it seems as if this charge has left you with no options, the truth is, there are many options. This is why it is imperative to have a DUI defense lawyer there with you from day one to explain these options and decipher which path you should go down.
At The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we are known and respected for the way we help people throughout Tacoma, Washington through their DUI charges. We understand that every client that walks through our door is different. We know that our clients face potential consequences that can be frightening.
Focusing solely on this area of law allows us to better prepare to take on the challenges of obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients. The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden are prepared with the knowledge and experience to mount a defense on your behalf. Please contact us immediately so we can effectively represent you on your DUI. Our office is located in Lakewood, Washington.
Being Pulled Over Under Suspicion of DUI in Washington
Probable cause allows police officers to pull drivers over if they are suspicious that someone is driving under the influence. If you are doing the following, especially between the hours 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. you will most likely raise suspicion of Washington officers:
- Weaving across lane lines
- Straddling a lane line
- Turning with a wide radius
- Hitting or coming dangerously close to other cars or objects
- Stopping problems (too far, too short, or too jerky)
- Acceleration or deceleration for no apparent reason
- Varying Speed
- Slow Speed (10 + mph under the limit)
- Driving in opposing lanes or wrong way on one-way
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
- Stopping in lane for no apparent reason
- Driving without headlights at night
- Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action
- Following too closely
- Improper or unsafe lane change
- Illegal or improper turn (too fast, jerky, sharp, etc.)
- Driving on other than designated roadway
- Stopping inappropriately in response to officer
- Inappropriate or unusual behavior (throwing, arguing, etc.)
- Appearing to be impaired
Driving cautiously and under the speed limit also tips an officer off that you could be driving under the influence, prompting them to pull you over.
When you are pulled over, you will go through the paces, handing them your license and registration. If you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, though, you will most likely be asked to undergo field sobriety tests. You will be most likely asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure your BAC. In Washington, the legal limit is:
- .08 for adults 21 and over
- .02 for persons under 21
- .04 for commercial vehicle drivers while driving their commercial vehicle
If your BAC is at or over the legal limit, you can be charged for driving under the influence.
Know that in the state of Washington, it is not mandatory to take the BAC test on the scene. You do not need to consent to field sobriety tests or blood alcohol measuring tests. Learn more about common field sobriety tests.
However, you are required to take a blood alcohol test when you are taken to the station or you can suffer additional licensing consequences. On the scene, insist that you would like to consult your representation. The sooner you ask for counsel, the better. If you are seeking counsel after being pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, contacting a DUI defense lawyer is in your best interest.
At the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we are your advocates 24/7. When you call us, whether it is from the scene, the police station, or from your home, we will make sure you are getting the advice you need to make the best decisions for you and your case.
Possible Consequences of a DUI in Washington State
Whether it is your first offense, your second, or third, there are consequences that come with being convicted of a DUI in Washington State. If you are sentenced, there could be lofty fines, probation, and jail time involved. Your once spotless record suddenly looks a little bleaker.
Your sentence is dependent on your BAC result or if you refused and whether or not you have a prior offense, amongst other criteria. Some of these sentences can be avoided or reduced with the help of your DUI defense lawyer, especially when it is your first offense.
In addition to dealing with the courts, Department of Licensing (DOL) will seek to suspend or revoke your driver’s license if you are arrested and either blow over the legal limit or refuse the breath test at the police station. In order to attempt to avoid this suspension or revocation from the DOL you must mail out $375.00 dollars to the DOL requesting a hearing. This must be done within 20 days of your arrest. With help from a lawyer who has experience with DOL hearings and navigating complex license suspensions, you can take steps to protect your license or regain your ability to drive legally.
From the Time You Call Our Office to DUI Trial
The consequences of getting charged with a DUI are intimidating, and the trial process is bewildering. When you are facing the serious criminal charges of driving under the influence and have so many options in front of you, who do you call? From the time you contact our office, to the moment you say “guilty or not guilty”, and beyond; the Tacoma lawyers at The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden want to be by your side, defending your rights and finding your most ideal solution. We want to answer the questions you have about DUI, but most of all, we want to provide you the answers to the questions you might not have even thought of. We know that just because you are charged with a DUI doesn’t mean you are a criminal. Let us help you move past your mistakes and ensure that your rights are protected.