Lynnwood, WA – DUI & Personal Injury Lawyer – OFFICE GRAND OPENING – Law Office of Brian M. Sullivan & Associates

7411 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036 – The Law Office of Brian M. Sullivan and Associates, is expanding.

This month, our 3rd office location is opening, right near the Edmonds and Lynnwood city line.  Initially, hours will be by appointment only.  But with the high demand our office has in Lynnwood Municipal, South District Court, and Edmonds Municipal Court, we expect to be open standard business hours within a few months.  Our flagship Everett office and Kirkland office both remain open M-F 8:30-5:30.

Attorney Brian Sullivan practices primarily in the DUI Defense and Personal Injury areas throughout NW Washington State.

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Failure to Signal 2 Billion Times a Day: or, Beating Your DUI Resulting from a Failure to Signal

Recently released information the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) that claims that close to 2 million accidents are caused by drivers neglecting to appropriately use turn signals annually. The report also suggests close to 50% of drivers neglect to use a turn signal when changing lanes or forget to turn them off in a timely manner. This translates into approximately 2 billion turn signal violations each day or 750 billion times each year, according to the SAE.

This raises a serious issue in my DUI Defense practice.  Because I regularly represent those accused of driving impaired, I have seen the ill effects of this statistic from the point of view of those charged with a crime.  Washington law requires that drivers not only signal before changing lanes, but to do so several hundred feet in advance.  All too often, those charged with DUI, or other criminal charges, are stopped for this very reason.  This report gives more credence to a successful pretext defense in a traffic stop.  Under Washington case law, an officer may not stop a driver for an infraction wholly unrelated to the purpose of the contact (e.g., an officer in Washington State stopping a vehicle for a small lane violation because he thinks the suspect vehicle may contains drugs and without another way to make lawful contact, may well do so illegally).

Pretext stops happen with some frequency.  I have successfully argued for cases to be dismissed based on these types of unlawful stops.  If you have questions about this or your DUI or other criminal case, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.

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Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/01/4457626/car-insurance-rates-responds-to.html#storylink=cpy

New DUI law the gives WA one of the most “comprehensive ignition interlock programs in the country”

House Bill 2443 may go into effect soon.  It is being hailed as one of the most comprehensive ignition interlock programs in the country.  The bill further moves the issue to the hands of the Department of Licensing, and away from municipal and county courthouses.   The question will be whether DOL can administrate the program as well, and more cost effectively.  The major concern is how to help those injured by the administration of the law.

Capt. Jason Berry, legislative liaison for the Washington State Patrol, stated “as we look to technology to assist us in changing offender behavior, maintaining quality assurance and ensuring these drivers remain sober, we need appropriate oversight in place.”   Oversight of DOL rulings, however, will likely be a major new issue with the increase in their volume dealing with suspended, revoked, ignition interlock, occupational restricted, and commercial driver’s licenses.

 

The costs are passed on to those who are charged with DUI and convicted of that offense, or a lesser offense.

The bill also urges ignition interlock devices come with a facial recognition system when possible.

 

The DUI law takes effect Aug. 1, 2012.

St. Patricks Day Weeknd – DUI Patrols are out there.

With the merriment of St. Patrick’s Day comes the unfortunate fact that many folks choose to drink and drive. Accidents, sometimes fatal occur. In response, the WSP and other police agencies usually step up their patrols.

Accidents and Injuries on the weekend of 3/17 each year has prompted the following actions:

http://www.maplevalleyreporter.com/news/141442093.html

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New Round of Proposed DUI Laws – March 2012

Once again, local lawmakers are working to increase penalties and fines DUI (both Rx and non-Rx drugs and alcohol) and for vehicular homicide.

The current vehicular homicide law puts first-time offenders in a position of a jail sentence of about 2.5 to 3.5 years.House Bill 2216 would more than double the jail.

HB 2302, sponsored by Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, would make additional CPS requirements for those with children found in a vehicle with a parent or guardian under the influence.The bill would increase the age limit from 13 to 16 years.

HB 2443, would requirement an ignition interlock in cases reduced from DUI to reckless driving.  The bill also amendsthe term “drug” to include any chemicals that may be inhaled or ingested for intoxicating or hallucinatory effects, such as benzine and nitric oxide.  The bill also removes the implied consent (that is, it allows a breath or blood test without the suspect’s consent) for those under suspicion of felony DUI.
HB 2405, allows courts to make those convicted of DUI pay additional costs to support families of vehicular homicide drunk driving victims.

See the full story at the Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politicsnorthwest/2017562622_lawmakersseektotoughenduirelatedlaws.html

 

Attorney Brian Sullivan now accepting all case types in Tulalip Tribal Court

A Practicing Member of the Tulalip Tribal Court, Attorney Brian Sullivan has obtained numerous outstanding results for clients.  Feel free to give him a call for a free consultation: (425) 322-1076.

DOL Timing in Washington State – Kirkland DUI Lawyer Brian Sullivan

When a police officer arrests you for Driving While Under the Influence (DUI), he or she is supposed to submit a report to the Department of Licensing (DOL) within 72 hours. This is true for Kirkland Municipal Court DUI charges and those for the surrounding areas in Washington State.

This initiates a process with the DOL to suspend or revoke your license for a period of time based on your record and your breath test or refusal. Unlike in the court where you are innocent until proven guilty, under Washington Implied Consent Law, you are essentially guilty until proven innocent with the DOL.

When a citizen is released by the police after a DUI investigation, he or she should be given a hearing request form. This form must be postmarked to the DOL within 20 calendar days after your arrest or your suspension or revocation will be automatic.

At the Law Office of Brian Sullivan, our DOL hearing rate is above the state average because we fight hard to cancel suspensions and revocations.

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Kirkland DUI Charges and Alcohol / Drug Assessments

Being charged with a DUI in Kirkland Municipal Court, or any King County court for that matter, can seem like an overwhelming experience. At the Law Office of Brian Sullivan, we will fight to get you the best possible result. Along the way, there will be some tasks you need to complete to put us in the best possible bargaining position with City of Kirkland prosecutors.

Two important tasks we will ask you to complete include obatining an alcohol assessment and a attending a sessions of the DUI Victim Impact Panel. We will refer you to agencies in King and Snohomish Counties that will treat you with respect and will give an assessment that does not exceed what is necessary. You can trust that we will carry the burden of your Kirkland DUI case and will help you take it step at a time.

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Boating Under the Influence: Fighting the BUI Case – Don’t get a DUI for Boating / Boat DUI —- Sea-Far Arrests for BUI

The news is reporting that 71 people were arrested for Boating Under the Influence this last weekend at Sea-Fair.  Check out the full story at: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/127228228.html

Every year, there is a major crack down of these types of cases.  As an experienced BUI (Boating Under the Influence) Defense Lawyer I have seen that many times in these cases, the “field sobriety tests” conducted are done on a boat that is tossing and turning in the water.  Balance tests at this time are crazy.  Often, the officers rely on portable breath tests that are inadmissible in trial.  That said, the consequences can be quite severe, and those charged must proceed with caution and good legal counsel.

Call Attorney Brian Sullivan to set up a consultation about your Washington BUI case.

(425) 322-1076

Commentary on Washington DUI Law RCW 46.61.502

Read the information below for a breakdown and commentary by Attorney Brian Sullivan. Note his comments in BLUE around the DUI Law.

RCW 46.61.502 – Driving Under the Influence:

(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
– DUI requires several prongs in the “to convict” jury instructions.  First, the State must prove “driving” and appropriate jurisdiction.  Given the local tribal lands in Snohomish and Skagit counties, many jurisdictional issues arise in around tribal officer arrests.  Driving also generally must be shown by more than a mere admission of a person (e.g., like when an officer shows up to an accident scene and there are multiple people outside the car and the only evidence of one of them being a driver is that single person’s statement that they drove).
(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

– The second prong can be one of several things. Part (a) requires an accurate and reliable test of the person’s breath or blood.  The accuracy of blood and breath testing is problematic not only based on the science involved, but also the known and, to quote our former Defense Secretary, “known-unknowns.”  These known unknowns often mean that there is no real certainty for the breath or blood test level.  Expert testimony is often required to expose the problems in the State’s evidence.
(b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
– Part (b) is another option for the second prong that the State must prove.  It is a myth that the government needs to prove your alcohol or drug level to prove DUI.  A bigger myth is that you must be over a .08.  Officers frequently arrest citizens who take a breath test, blow well under a .08, but who they believe are “affected to an appreciable degree” by alcohol and or drugs.  In these types of cases, the government may attempt to hide the breath test from the jury.  Such tactics require that the defense lawyer make difficult decisions in what evidence should be presented, what types of experts must be called, and how the government’s case can be used against them.
(c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.
– Part (c) shows that a little alcohol and a little bit of drugs can be DUI.  Again, the standard is “under the influence of or affected by.”

(2) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against a charge of violating this section.
– Medical Prescriptions and Medical Marijuana Recommendations are not sufficient to beat a DUI.  Whatever drugs or alcohol you ingest, the State assumes you will not drive if you are affected to an appreciable degree by them.  It is notable that the tests that officers conduct to determine “impairment” do not actually demonstrate ability to drive.  The prudent lawyer will be prepared to argue all aspects of this defense, including tolerance and face-validity of the testing.
(3) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol after the time of driving and before the administration of an analysis of the person’s breath or blood to cause the defendant’s alcohol concentration to be 0.08 or more within two hours after driving. The court shall not admit evidence of this defense unless the defendant notifies the prosecution prior to the omnibus or pretrial hearing in the case of the defendant’s intent to assert the affirmative defense.
– Driving then drinking isn’t illegal.  So long as you weren’t impaired to an appreciable degree prior to or during the driving.  The latest strategy being advanced in this defense often relates to c0nsumption being tied to absorption.  The defense is also used in cases where officers arrest an individual who was not driving at the time, but whom the government alleges were drunk driving before being arrested.
(4) Analyses of blood or breath samples obtained more than two hours after the alleged driving may be used as evidence that within two hours of the alleged driving, a person had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more in violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section, and in any case in which the analysis shows an alcohol concentration above 0.00 may be used as evidence that a person was under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug in violation of subsection (1)(b) or (c) of this section.

– The “within two hours standard” for a breath test does not affect, for purposes of this statute, admissibility of the BAC results.  However, other issues to admissibility and weight are often brought by the prudent lawyer.

(5) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, a violation of this section is a gross misdemeanor.

– A gross misdemeanor in Washington State is generally a crime that carries a maximum of 365 days in jail and a $5000 fine (the total rises to $10,000 after State assessments).

(6) It is a class C felony punishable under chapter 9.94A RCW, or chapter 13.40 RCW if the person is a juvenile, if: (a) The person has four or more prior offenses within ten years as defined in RCW 46.61.5055; or (b) the person has ever previously been convicted of (i) vehicular homicide while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.520(1)(a), (ii) vehicular assault while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.522(1)(b), or (iii) an out-of-state offense comparable to the offense specified in (b)(i) or (ii) of this subsection.

– The Felony DUI Law is new in Washington.  A 5th DUI in a 10 year period, or prior conviction for Vehicular Assault or Homicide with alcohol (or similar out of state charges) changes the DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony.