As a Seattle DUI Attorney, I'm shocked and appauled at the media backlash in the last few days. Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to demonize and villify the conduct of my clients. And they're doing it in broad sweeping general terms. They're not even considering the other side of the coin.
And it goes further than media. Yesterday I posted a topic about the ressurection of HB 1482. And today, Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State is calling DUI drivers "terrorists walking around with a bomb in their trunk."
Really Governor? I'm disappointed.
Tell that to my client who is a nursing student who made a simple mistake, had one too many at dinner, and was pulled over for a broken tail light. No bad driving. No accident. Barely above the legal limit. Tell her she's a terrorist.
Or my client who had nothing to drink, but because he was told by a lawyer to refuse a breath test, lost his license for a YEAR and had to go through a lengthy trial where he was ultimately found not guilty. Tell him he's a terrorist.
Or my client who is still in high school - barely learning how to make good choices. She made a bad one. Passed every field sobriety test, and blew a .03 (a smidge above the .02 limit for minors). Tell that young girl that she's a terrorist.
Look - I know that horrible things have happened recently. And my heart goes out to the families of the victims.
But my heart ALSO goes out to Mr. Mullen and his family. This man has been demonized and he's not been convicted of ANYTHING yet. Everyone in our state knows he was above the limit. How does this man get a fair trial? How does this man get the due process he deserves? The due process we all deserve? And how does his family live with the demonizing of their loved one. A person who suffers from a disease. The same with Mr. Richardson and his family.
And yes - I said it - alcoholism is a disease. Just as sure as Parkinsons, Cancer, MS or any one of a thousand other diseases. And you're calling him a terrorist.
And now they want to ban deferred sentences. Yes - the prosecutor's office is writing legislation now. Instead of your elected legislators. They want to eliminate the discretion a judge has to sentence as he or she sees fit. Judges are impartial decision makers. Isn't there a problem with the prosecutor's office writing the rules? Don't they have a dog in this fight?
Let's face it - this is a hard issue. But like I said yesterday, we can (as a society) handle it smarter and with more compassion all the way around. Let's not forget that our country was founded on the basis of trying to get away from guilty until proven otherwise. Let's not forget that our state is named after a man who fought and led an army where his countrymen died to protect that ideal.
Let's not forget that in America - we all have value - and we all have rights.
And like I said yesterday - remember that you do not have the right to be prosecuted. Only defended.
Let's keep the presumption of innocence in mind. I seem to recall something about it from law school. Maybe Jay Inslee should look it up. It sounds vaguely important.
Oh yeah - and let's leave the "terrorist" label for the ones who deserve it. You know - the actual terrorists.
If you are charged with a DUI and don't want your rights trampled - call me for your free consultation now.