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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

December 2016 Archives

Rates of drunk driving have fallen

While many people in Washington are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs each year, federal data shows that the rate of drunk driving is falling nationwide. The rate of driving under the influence of drugs has remained about the same, however.

Increased patrols ongoing through Jan. 1

Since Dec. 15, Washington police agencies have been conducting increased DUI holiday patrols in an effort to prevent fatal crashes by getting impaired drivers off of the roads. The patrols are set to run through Jan. 1, and King County police advise citizens to get rides, take taxis or use Uber to get home after they have been drinking.

Will vehicle-to-vehicle communications make roads safer?

If cars could talk, would they help prevent accidents? The federal government thinks so. The transportation department recently issued proposed rules that would require new cars to be wired to communicate with each other about their travel course and speed, according to The New York Times.

Alcohol assessment and education programs following a DUI

Washington residents who are convicted of driving under the influence could potentially face serious consequences. However, some of the penalties could be avoided if the court orders include mandatory alcohol education. This option is often given during a suspended sentencing arrangement or a condition of an accused person's probation. In some cases, if they complete the terms of their alcohol education, they could potentially have their driver's licence restored.

Penalties for first offense DUI

People in Washington who are convicted for first-offense DUI usually don't face the severe penalties that repeat DUI offenders face. A first-offense DUI may result in jail time, but it will probably be no longer than one year. In many cases, people who are convicted for first-offense DUI can serve their sentence by completing an alternative community service program.

Reasonable suspicion and DUI-related traffic stops

Motorists in Washington and other states across the country who may find themselves facing drunk driving charges may want to know whether the traffic stop that led to their DUI was allowable under the law. In most instances, law enforcement officers must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred before a driver can be stopped and detained for even a brief period of time.