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2 Ways the Prosecution Tries to Prove DUI, Washington State

Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Washington State is known for having some of the toughest laws on Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in the nation. In our state there are mandatory minimum penalties for any DUI conviction, even for first time offenders. If you’re facing DUI charges, it is imperative that you do everything possible to mount a strong defense, and when possible get the charges dropped or reduced to lesser charges.

2 Ways the Prosecution Tries to Prove DUI in Washington State

It is the job of the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of DUI. There are generally two ways in which the prosecutor attempts to prove that you are guilty:

• Proving that your blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of .08 within two hours after driving. (RCW 46.61.502 (1)(a)).

• Proving that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combined influence of alcohol and drugs. (RCW 46.61.502 (1)(c)-(d)).

Blood Alcohol Content Over the Legal Limit

The prosecutor may prove that you were driving with a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit (or that within two hours of driving your blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit) with the use of a blood or breath test. The test must be administered according to Washington State law (RCW 46.61.506).

There are a number of ways an experienced criminal defense attorney can defend against evidence proffered by the state. For instance, if the evidence demonstrating your blood alcohol content was collected in violation of Washington State law, it may not be admissible. Or, if we can show that alcohol consumed after the time of driving was the cause of the .08 or higher blood alcohol level, then we have an affirmative defense to the DUI charges. (RCW 46.61.502 (3)(a)).

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

In cases where the prosecutor does not have evidence of your blood alcohol content, he or she may still pursue DUI charges on a theory that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combined influence of alcohol and drugs. The prosecutor may attempt to prove that you are guilty of DUI this way if the evidence of your blood alcohol content is deemed inadmissible, you allegedly refused to take the test, or test results are not available for some other reason.

It is more difficult for the state to secure a conviction without evidence of blood alcohol content. To be successful, the prosecutor must prove with other evidence that you were “affected” by alcohol or drugs, or a combination thereof, while you were driving.

Hire a Fierce Advocate to Help You Defend Against DUI Charges

Between the minimum penalties and the long-term consequences of having a DUI on your record, you need to hire a fierce advocate to defend you against the state’s accusations. There are a number of ways to successfully defend against DUI charges, including the possibility of getting the charges dropped completely or reduced to lesser charges.

Most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely. Hiring our experienced DUI defense attorneys can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.