February 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Target Zero teams focus on potential DUI suspects
Article provided by The Law Offices of Smith and White, PLLC
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Washington drivers know drinking and driving is a serious issue. A DUI charge comes with devastating consequences, including substantial fines, license suspension and potential jail time.
Target Zero teams deployed during busy weekends
A majority of statewide traffic accidents occur because of impaired driving according to authorities in the state, which what prompted the creation of Target Zero. However, some residents may be concerned that a well-intentioned program may unjustly target motorists who would not otherwise be pulled over or charged.
Target Zero is a project by the Washington State Patrol focusing on highway safety. The stated goal of the project is to achieve zero traffic deaths by the year 2030. Target Zero teams are usually sent out during holidays or busy weekends with the goal of catching impaired drivers.
The teams consist of 18 troopers and three sergeants whose full-time duty is seeking impaired drivers in areas known for a high number of traffic deaths due to drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Washington State Patrol chief says having the teams in place means drivers have a higher chance of being arrested for a DUI.
According to authorities, Target Zero appears to be working. According to a Snohomish County Sheriff, overall rates of impaired driving deaths are down by 48 percent. Additionally, deaths due to excess speed are down by 48 percent.
A DUI conviction means a substantial loss of freedom
Adults in Washington State are charged with a DUI if they register a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. Additionally, they may face a DUI charge if caught driving while affected by any drug, alcohol or a combination of the two, regardless of BAC level.
Along with the harsh penalties mentioned above, a DUI arrest and conviction automatically comes with a driver's license suspension. This means a significant loss of freedom and often makes it difficult for a driver to perform daily tasks such as getting to work.
A driver's license is automatically suspended for a DUI arrest, unless a hearing is requested within 20 days of the arrest. A driver who does not request a hearing faces a suspension between 90 days to two years.
Upon conviction, a license may be suspended for up to four years. The length of the suspension depends on factors such as the circumstances surrounding the incident and any prior offenses. A driver typically receives credit for any days the license was suspended during the arrest period.
Because an ignition interlock device is also usually required, a driver can apply for an Ignition Interlock Driver License, which allows driving during the entire suspension period.
There are many additional factors involved in a DUI arrest that a driver should not overlook. For instance, weather conditions or poor road surfaces can cause driving to appear reckless. Additionally, DUI testing devices may malfunction or need repair.
All of these factors must be taken into consideration when faced with a DUI charge. The consequences of a DUI conviction are too permanent and severe to justify immediately entering a guilty plea.
Washington drivers arrested on suspicion of a DUI need a skilled DUI attorney on their side. A experienced criminal defense attorney can help protect a defendant's rights and ensure the defendant was not charged unjustly.---
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