Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Funding shortage causes WA low income drivers to lose IIDs

If you get convicted of a DUI in Washington State you will be required to have an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive.  The time frame varies depending on the number of prior times a driver has been required to have an IID.  But it can range from 1 year to 10 years.  The Washington State legislature created a program to allow low income drivers to get reduced rates on IIDs that are subsidized from other drivers paying for the ignition interlock license.  Unfortunately this may be coming to an end.

The funding has dried up unexpectedly due to the money for the program somehow getting funneled into another program for prison inmate treatment.  How it worked was if a driver was convicted of a first time DUI then they would be required to get an ignition interlock device.  They would have to apply for what is called an ignition interlock license in order to drive during that one year.  The license itself costs $20 a month to maintain.  That $20 went into a pot that was reserved for those drivers who could not afford the IID due to their financial situation.  

Because of the loss of these monies it is being reported that over 2000 drivers are going to lose their ability to maintain the ignition interlock license because they will not be able to afford the ignition interlock device.  At that time they will be faced with two options.  Either not drive or choose to drive in violation of the mandatory sentence.

Unfortunately this seems to be nothing more than politics.  It is a little surprising since DUI cases have been such a hot button issue for the past few years.  With many law makers crying about increasing the penalties and keeping drivers off the road following a DUI arrest.  Well these very law makers are the ones who screwed over the very people they are trying to protect by losing this money set aside for this program.  I guess it just shows you votes are more important to them than the actual issues they are "crying" about.

Here is the link to the news article where I saw this if you're interesting in reading.    

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About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI lawyer in Seattle, WA.  His practice focuses on representing those charged with DUI and other related offenses.  He has been name one of Seattle's Best DUI Lawyers Rising Star multiple times by the Seattle Met Magazine.  He is also rated a 10/10 by Avvo.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Star Wars type alcohol DUI laser device coming to a City near you...Maybe

A new fangled Star Wars type laser device used to detect alcohol vapor has been created by Scientists in Poland.  This is some pretty crazy yet fascinating technology that has been developed.  Essentially its a laser device that can detect alcohol vapor like that which has been exhaled by someone who's been drinking.  Now the kicker is supposedly it can be detected inside a moving vehicle as it passes by the handheld device. 

This device is in the very early stages of development.  I guess it was successfully tested by aiming the laser at a car as it was passing by.  The car's interior had been filled up with alcohol vapor, my guess is probably a whole lot of this stuff.  Although I'm not quite sure what the alcohol vapor was but it was supposed to simulate someone's breath after they had been drinking.  

My guess is something like this is far off from ever being implemented by law enforcement.  The article I read about it pointed out several issues that have not been figured.  

First it doesn't appear the device could differentiate from a driver and a passenger.  Imagine getting pulled over for a DUI by this thing and the driver is stone cold sober and acting as the designated driver.  You think some 4th amendment issues there, probably.

Secondly there was some countermeasures that could be implemented.  For example opening the windows, or having tinted windows the laser could get through.  Additionally what if somebody was smoking or there was some other kind of vapor inside.  How could this laser get through.

As I stated, I highly doubt something like this gets implemented in the near future.  However you never know.  In the jurisdiction I practice, Seattle, WA DUI's are becoming more and more targeted.  It's just not people over the legal limit, but anyone who has any kind of alcohol in their system are being stopped, detained, and arrested.  

I know I sound like a broken record but it is not a good idea to drive in Seattle, WA if you have had anything to drink.  It won't matter to the Seattle Police nor the City of Seattle Prosecutor's office if you're under the legal limit.  They will still come after you so don't take the risk. 

If you're interested in reading more about this crazy laser device, here you go

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About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a practicing DUI Attorney in Seattle, WA.  He has been named on of the best Seattle DUI Attorneys numerous times by the Seattle Met Magazine.  Additionally he is rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by Avvo.com

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

When is an IID required in a Washington State DUI case

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Washington State.  Then chances are at some point during this unfortunate situation you may face the possibility of having to get an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.  Seattle DUI Attorney Matthew Leyba discusses the three times when this may occur.

First the most obvious and most common is if the individual gets convicted of a DUI.  Whether its through a guilty plea or a conviction following trial it doesn't matter.  An ignition interlock device is a requirement following a conviction for DUI in Washington State.

Now the time requirement can vary depending on whether there have been any prior DUI convictions.  For example if its a first offense DUI conviction then the IID requirement will be 1 year.  If there has been a prior IID requirement from a DUI conviction then the IID requirement is 5 years.  If there have been 2 or more prior IID requirements then the third time is a 10 year requirement.

The second time an individual may face an ignition interlock requirement is if the drivers license gets suspended and they want to continue to drive via a restricted drivers license.  For example in WA State if a drivers license gets suspended for day 90 days the driver may be eligible to continue to drive if they get an IID installed in their vehicle, apply for the ignition interlock license, and give the WA DOL proof of a SR22 insurance certificate.

In this type of situation the IID would only need to be installed during the license suspension.  So in WA State if a license gets suspended for 90 days then the IID only needs to be in for 90 days.  Once the suspension is up the driver can get the IID removed and go pay a reinstatement fee at DOL to get a new drivers license.

The third time an individual may face an ignition interlock requirement is if it gets imposed at the DUI arraignment as a condition of release.  What this means if a Judge requires a defendant to install an IID or stay in jail while the DUI case is pending.  Well then the IID needs to get installed while the DUI charge is pending.

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About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle.  His practice consists of representing those charged with DUI and other DUI related offenses.  For more information you can view his website here