In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many states, including Washington, have issued stay-at-home orders, directing residents to remain indoors unless they must conduct essential business. Such measures are being taken to help slow the spread of the disease, and they have required many processes in society to be adjusted. One such area is that involving legal matters handled by courts. In Washington State, the Supreme Court issued an order, suspending most criminal and civil cases.
Police Are Still Enforcing the Law
Although shutdown orders are in place and many legal processes have been postponed or adjusted, that doesn't mean the legal system has completely stopped. Police are still patrolling the streets and are just as active now as they were before preventative measures were implemented. This means that if you are caught driving under the influence, you could be arrested and charged with DUI. And with fewer people on the roads, it is more likely for a cop to notice odd driving behavior and pull you over.
Recent DUI Arrests Made After Stay-at-Home Orders Took Effect
Since COVID-19 preventative measures were enacted, several serious DUI-related incidents have occurred on Washington roads:
- Driver nears 130 mph fleeing police: A suspected DUI driver was arrested after leading deputies on a chase that reached speeds of 130 mph. Deputies attempted to pull over the vehicle for suspicion of impaired driving, but the driver took off, eventually crashing into a crosswalk pole. After the crash, the driver ran off and hid until he was tracked down by a police dog and arrested.
- Suspected DUI driver kills Washington bicyclist: A driver was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run, vehicular homicide, and driving under the influence of narcotics in Washington state. The 40-year-old Port Orchard man was arrested for allegedly killing a bicyclist while intoxicated and continuing to drive with the victim’s bicycle stuck to the front of his car.
- Tow truck driver called to the scene of a DUI arrested: A woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence through downtown Spokane after speeding and running multiple red lights before crashing into another car. The tow truck driver called to the scene was also arrested on the same charge after an officer smelled marijuana coming from within the tow truck. As the officers were talking with the driver, the truck had a mechanical issue and rolled into a patrol car.
- Car topples near Alki Beach: A man was behind the wheel when he hit a parked car. His vehicle flipped onto its top, injuring him and the 4 passengers in the car with him (a woman and 3 children). The police obtained a warrant for a blood draw and determined that the man was under the influence of drugs. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and booked in the King County Jail.
- High-speed chase involving a Pitbull: A man led troopers on a high-speed chase down Interstate 5. The pursuit began after the man allegedly hit two vehicles. After the troopers stopped him, he told them that he was trying to teach his Pitbull how to drive. In addition to DUI, the man was charged with reckless driving, hit-and-run, and eluding.
- Motorcyclist ejected from bike: A man riding a motorcycle made three separate attempts to run from police after being spotted driving recklessly along Highway 99. When police saw him a third time, he made a U-turn and struck the median in the middle of SR-99. He was ejected from the bike and sustained serious injuries. It was determined that he was likely riding a potentially stolen motorcycle and driving under the influence.
- Sportscar clocked at nearly 200 mph: A man in a sportscar was caught speeding down US 2. A Washington State Trooper reported that the man was traveling at 192 mph. He was eventually stopped and arrested on suspicion of impaired driving.
- High-speed chase on I-5: A woman led deputies on a high-speed chase up and down I-5. A deputy initially tried to pull her over on suspicion of DUI, but instead of stopping, she took off. When deputies were able to stop her, they found she had an outstanding warrant.
Retaining Legal Services Is Still Important
We are currently living in strange and uncertain times, but the laws of the road are still in effect. If you are suspected of drunk or drugged driving, you could face charges. Although court cases may be suspended, it is still imperative to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. In fact, right now is a great time for a lawyer to build a defense, as the prosecution is resting during the shutdown.
If you've been accused of a DUI offense in Washington State, reach out to DUIHeroes today. We are ready to provide aggressive representation for your case. Call us at (425) 296-9358 or contact us online.