Steve has been practicing law for over 30 years. For the past 25 years, his practice has focused on DUI & DWI defense. Let his experience achieve the best result for you.
Founding Member Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers: 1987
Member of the National College for DUI Defense since 1998
NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Student Course – completed 2001
Faculty Speaker 1999 DUI Update Continuing Legal Education Seminar
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
The consequences of a conviction for DUI (driving under the influence) are devastating and will impact your freedom, your job and your family for many years. Successfully navigating the complex and confusing legal system requires an experienced attorney.
Drunk driving laws and DUI penalties in Washington State are among the toughest in the United States. Just because it may be your first DUI offense, do not think that you can get off lightly without a highly experienced lawyer. Prosecutors are determined to seek out harsh punishments for those charged with a DUI, and the consequences can be severe.
A DUI in Washington is classified as a serious criminal charge, and with it comes mandatory minimum jail penalties, license suspensions and ignition interlock restrictions that you will find difficult to avoid. Washington State law also takes into account your breath or blood alcohol content and your previous driving record in sentencing.
If your breath or blood alcohol content is over .15, or if you refuse to take the breath test, you are going to face much stiffer penalties than the already harsh punishment likely with a lower BAC DUI charge.
When faced with a driving under the influence charge, jail time is a very real and likely prospect. Steve will fight to keep you out of jail and able to drive.
Department of Licensing
Aside from the criminal DUI charges, you will face Department of Licensing proceedings where you can have your license suspended or revoked.
You have just 20 days from your arrest to request a DOL administrative hearing to prevent the revocation of your license.
Even if the DOL hearing is requested you can still lose your driving privileges; the hearing is not a guarantee of keeping your license, especially without a qualified DUI attorney representing you.
It is important to note that licensing sanctions can still be imposed even if you are found not guilty in the criminal courts.
Note that Washington has an out-of-state Driver’s License Compact Agreement. This means that even if you have an out-of-state driver’s license, a DUI conviction in the State of Washington will be reported back to your home State and you will likely face license sanctions there as well as in Washington.
Ignition Interlock Device
The ignition interlock device is a small breathalyzer that is installed in an automobile, directly linked to the ignition, making the driver blow an acceptable blood alcohol content level in order for the automobile to start.
Judges are progressively turning to these devices to help curb drunk driving, and you do not have to be a repeat offender for a judge to order its installation. Judges are given discretion in ordering these devices for firsttime offenders. Judges regularly order their installation for repeat offenders, high BAC levels, and DUI with minors in the vehicle.
Unless you are indigent, ignition interlock devices are installed at your expense. Normally there is an installation fee, and a monthly rental fee.
Furthermore, Ignition Interlock Devices record all the data it collects. Breath test results, number of starts and stops, any tampering, etc. is all available for later review by the Court.
Travel to Canada
In the Pacific Northwest traveling out of the country, particularly to Canada, is quite common. With a DUI conviction on your record, this may not be as easy, or even possible, anymore.
Canadian immigration law is quite complicated, and their border officials have been given broad authority to choose who gets in, and who doesn’t.
As a result DUI convictions have been declared sufficient grounds for denied access to Canada. Even lesser crimes, such as reckless driving or any drinking and driving related offense, can be a reason to delay entry.
If traveling up north is important to you or necessary for your job, it is imperative that you hire a qualified DUI attorney to avoid having a DUI conviction on your record.