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Liquor privatization in Washington steadies numbers of DUI arrests

In all 50 states in the U.S., including Washington, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08.
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    December 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For drivers that go out for a night in Seattle, Bellevue and Everett and have a few drinks, many don't suspect that they will be pulled over and given a DUI or involved in an accident due to the impact of alcohol in their system.

Consequences of a DUI

In all 50 states in the U.S., including Washington, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08, states the Governors Highway Safety Association. While getting a DUI for driving with a BAC level above 0.08 has certain legal consequences, it also has a profound financial impact on drivers. These financial consequences may include:
- Paying for bail, which may range in cost anywhere from $150-$2,500.
- The cost of towing your vehicle away from the site of arrest.
- Increased insurance costs.
- Legal fees.

According to MSN, the fines and fees associated with a DUI can add up to over $10,000 by the time the process is over.

Privatization laws in Washington and their impact

Although the state of Washington has imposed a variety of consequences for drivers that drive above the legal BAC limit, such as suspending their license for 90 days according to the GHSA, a recent privatization law in Washington has had an impact on the number of DUI arrests in the state. According to the Huffington Post, in November of last year, Washington residents voted to privatize a government operated liquor retail and distribution system.

Although one of the outcomes of this privatization was an increase in liquor prices, another effect was on the number of DUI arrests in the state. A year after this new system was put into action the Washington State Patrol looked over data that covered the number of driving arrests and vehicle accidents since the privatization of liquor sales. According to, although this new system made alcoholic beverages more readily available to consumers, there was not an increase in the number of DUI arrest in the past year.

Although many officials, such as the man who compiled this data from the Washington Policy Center, state that it is too soon to tell whether or not privatization is directly correlated with DUI arrests, there has been a reduction in the number of DUI arrests since privatization occurred. reports that in 2012 there were 2,347 alcohol-related collisions and 19,703 DUI arrests compared with 2011, when there were only 21,577 DUI arrests.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and given a DUI, contact an attorney in your area that can help you minimize the legal repercussions of this allegation.

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