In a nearly unprecedented DUI arrest last week, Washington State Police took a 14-year-old boy into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), eluding a law enforcement officer, and taking a motor vehicle without the owner's permission.
According to police reports, a Washington State Trooper noticed a possible intoxicated motorist driving a red Pontiac sedan around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in Bellingham. The sedan was weaving and traveling 20 mph under the posted 50 mph speed limit. When the trooper turned on his emergency lights to stop the vehicle, the car accelerated – reaching up to 60 mph – before turning off a county road and onto a city street. The teen allegedly crashed into four parked cars in a nearby apartment complex before coming to a stop.
To add to this strange set of events, Troopers found two other minors – ages 12 and 15 – and a 53-year-old man in the vehicle. Troopers reported that everyone in the sedan was drunk and that the vehicle was stolen from the 14-year-old's grandmother. The two underage passengers were taken to St. Joseph Hospital for observation.
While investigations are ongoing, local law enforcement officers state that none of the minors in the vehicle should have been drinking, let alone driving a vehicle. They are attempting to trace the chain of events that led to the unusual arrest, including who provided the minors with alcohol.
While the arrest is certainly a rare occurrence, it does serve to highlight the fact that all drivers on the road face constant dangers from other motorists and that local law enforcement officers come down hard on those who drive impaired. Fortunately in this case, no one was harmed. In the event that a motorist driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs does cause property damage or physical injuries, criminal charges and penalties can be significantly heightened. Additionally, heightened charges can arise when other aggravating circumstances are involved, including driving without a license, evading arrest, and taking a motor vehicle without permission. DUI and driver's license penalties for underage drivers are also severe.
If you or your loved one has recently been charged with a DUI involving any type of aggravating circumstance, or if your son or daughter has been arrested for an underage DUI, it is crucial that you understand the serious penalties at stake. As time is an essential factor in protecting your driving privileges, freedom, and future, it is strongly advised that you seek experienced representation from a proven attorney. At DUI Heroes, Attorney Jonathan Dichter draws from years of concentrated experience as a Seattle DUI lawyer to protect the rights and futures of clients facing all types of DUI allegations. Do not hesitate to learn more about your case, the penalties you face, and how the firm can help.
Contact DUI Heroes toll-free at (866) 620-9524 or local at (425) 296-9358.