“Don’t drink and drive” is a commonly heard refrain, but how much do you really know about driving under the influence ? Our DUI lawyers in Kitsap County Washington share some important information about laws, penalties and statistics regarding this infraction.
Definition of DUI
While driving under the influence, or DUI, is the term generally used in Washington State, other locations may refer to it as driving while intoxicated, or DWI. Under state law, impairment can result from use of alcohol or drugs, even legal ones such as marijuana or prescription medication.
As of 2017, a new category of DUI is in effect in Washington State. Distracted driving, or E-DUI, involves use of a cell phone or other digital device while operating a motor vehicle, even if you’re stopped at a red light. This law is in response to a 32 percent increase in traffic fatalities between 2014 and 2015, largely attributed to distracted driving.
Washington State DUIs by the Numbers
• Sadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control, both men and women are more likely to die due to impaired driving accidents in Washington State than in other states.
• Estimates reveal that 46 percent of traffic fatalities in Washington State are due to impaired driving.
• Here in Washington State, 2.1 percent of people admit to driving after too much alcohol, compared to 1.9 percent of people across the nation.
• Drunk driving has cost state taxpayers as much as $51 billion in a single year.
Depending on the severity of the offense and the number of prior infractions, a DUI arrest can lead to fines, suspension of driver’s license, and jail time. After adding up other expenses, such as higher insurance rates, deterrents like ignition interlock devices, and services of a DUI lawyer in Kitsap County Washington, a DUI arrest can total upwards of $10,000 in many communities. In addition, a drug treatment program may be mandated at your own cost.