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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Where do most drunk drivers have their last drink?

A popular Washington nightspot has earned a dubious distinction from state police. Jazzbones in Tacoma is the bar that most people in Washington who are charged with DUI say they had their last drink.

The venue features live music at least six nights a week, which makes it the most popular bar on Sixth Avenue, according to its manager. She also says that the music draws people to the bar as their last stop of the night after they may have been drinking at other bars.

Since 2012, 195 people have named Jazzbones as the last place they had a drink before being charged with DUI. State police note that the information is not considered completely accurate due to the fact that it comes from people who may be intoxicated at the time. It is because of this that bars cannot be punished based on being cited as the last bar by a person charged with DUI. Bars that are frequently named as last-drink bars do go on a list maintained by the State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and these bars get extra inspections.

Some people who are arrested for DUI decline to name the venue where they had their last drink or say they were drinking at home or at another private residence. Last-drink data is used to check on and educate bar owners about service limitations and other violations.

DUI includes not only drunk driving, but driving under the influence of drugs. Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington, the state has implemented laws regarding the legal limits of marijuana for driving. While a breathalyzer test can be administered at the time of a DUI stop when someone is suspected of drunk driving, testing for marijuana requires a blood test. A lawyer can help clients who have been accused of DUI to question whether the evidence was collected legally and to form a defense against the charges.

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