A 27-year-old professional skateboarder has been charged with vehicular assault and vehicular homicide in connection with an August 2017 car accident in Washington state. The crash claimed the life of one of the man's passengers and left the other severely injured. Police say that the man was traveling at highway speeds in an area with a posted speed limit of 15 mph when he lost control of his vehicle on a curve.
Washington lawmaker Timm Ormsby has apologized to voters for his 'very poor choice" after being charged with driving while under the influence. The Democrat, who has served in the legislature since 2003 and chairs the influential House Appropriations Committee, was taken into custody on Feb. 10 after being involved in a one-car accident on 58th Avenue NW about three miles west of the Olympia city limits. Reports indicate that Ormsby lost control of his Jeep Cherokee as he made a turn.
According to Washington state's highest court, random urine tests for drugs and alcohol for people charged with but not yet convicted of DUI are unconstitutional because they are too invasive. The court, which reached its decision with a 5-4 majority, also said that based on state law, urine testing at the pretrial stage could only be done for people who had prior DUI convictions or who were facing felony charges.
Some Washington defendants might be pressured to plead guilty to charges because they are unable to afford bail. A study that appeared in the American Economic Review found that people who are released before a trial are 14 percentage points less likely to be found guilty. This is mostly because people who remain in jail have a weaker bargaining position and are more likely to plead guilty.
Currently, the legal blood alcohol limit in Washington state is .08 percent. This is also true in every other state in America until Dec. 30 when a Utah law lowering its legal limit to .05 percent takes effect. A report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests that all states should adopt the .05 percent threshold. Doing so may reduce or eliminate the 10,000 alcohol-related traffic deaths in the United States each year.
Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks was taken into custody for drunk driving in Washington during the morning of Jan. 14. In a tweet published after the arrest, the football player claimed he had a blood alcohol content of .03 percent when he was taken into custody. This is below the legal limit in the state of .08 percent.
Professional skateboarding fans who reside in the state of Washington may be interested in knowing about a drunk driving case that is unfolding elsewhere on the West Coast. According to entertainment news sources, Brandon Cole "Bam" Margera is facing a DUI charge after driving past California Highway Patrol officers on Jan. 7 while using his phone. Sources report that this is the first time that the television personality and stunt performer has been taken into police custody on allegations of DUI.
At least one city in Washington has substantial trouble with motorists operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Troopers in Everett report that this problem is evidenced by an incident that occurred on Dec. 14 when a state patrol car was struck by a suspected drunk driver while the vehicle was pulled over so that the officer could help detain another suspected drunk driver.
Music fans in Washington and around the country may be familiar with the country singer Michael Ray. The 29-year-old shot to stardom when his ballad "Kiss You in the Morning" reached the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2015, but the singer made headlines of a different sort during the early morning hours of Dec. 20 when he was taken into custody on drunk driving and drug possession charges by police in Florida.
When a Washington resident decides to get behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol, he or she is making a decision that has the potential to irrevocably change the lives of passengers in the vehicle, fellow drivers and innocent bystanders. Every 50 minutes, someone in the United States loses his or her life in an automobile accident because a driver made the decision to get behind the wheel impaired. The damage that this causes to families and communities is tragic.