Washington residents may have heard that Steve Wilkos, a talk show host and former security professional for "The Jerry Springer Show", flipped his vehicle in January while he was driving drunk in Connecticut. At that time, Wilkos initially claimed that he had been reaching for his glasses when he lost control of his car. However, it was later revealed that he had been driving while he was intoxicated.
Two 911 calls alerted police in Parkland to a man driving erratically, running red lights and striking multiple vehicles in the Brookdale area. A deputy located the vehicle in a 20-acre field on 52nd Avenue East. The man living there had used his tractor to keep the car that had smashed through his gate from moving again. The deputy reported that he smelled an overpowering odor of feces as he approached the car and saw feces smeared on the driver's door.
In Washington and every state in the country, a driver is presumed to be legally intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher. However, a police officer cannot just assume that a person is intoxicated prior to charging a driver with DUI. The officer must have proof that this is the case, and evidence can be collected using a Breathalyzer machine.
On Feb. 2, Vili Faulaau was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving following a car accident in Washington. The 34-year-old is the husband of former elementary school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, who was convicted of sexually assaulting him when he was one of her students.
Washington residents who are convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face a range of penalties. While those with several prior DUI convictions may face felony drunk driving charges, first-time offenders are generally treated more leniently. In these situations, judges forgo custodial sentences in favor of community service, probation and substance abuse counseling. Many DUI offenders must also have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.
There is a significant backlog of DUI cases in Washington due to thousands of requests for blood tests for drivers accused of using drugs before driving. In 2017, the state toxicology lab, run by the Washington State Patrol, handled 15,945 cases. This figure signifies an increase of 9 percent over 2016. The number of such cases has grown by 45 percent in the previous five years.
On March 2, a Washington man was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving. The incident took place at approximately 12:23 a.m. in Parkland.
Motorists who are detained on suspicion of DUI in Washington and other states may want to know more about the potential charges that could follow. Drunk driving charges may be connected to the use of alcohol, illegal substances or prescription drugs. In some situations, DUI charges are combined with manslaughter.
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.