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:


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:

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.

Pressing the Assault IV case to dismissal – Marysville WA

“I can’t prove this one – I’m going to dismiss.”  No objection by me, that statement settles it.  I thank the prosecutor and the weight of my client’s case is off my shoulders.  Moments later, before the judge, the prosecutor so moves and the my client is free after paying a filing fee of just under $100.

This frequent experience demonstrates the need for aggressive defense representation.  In every city in Washington State, the mandatory arrest law applies in domestic violence cases.   That is, when the police respond to a domestic violence situation, and there is evidence of a crime, the police must determine the “primary aggressor” and take them into custody.  Even in non-domestic cases, and occasionally simple arguments, the police are called and charges are pressed by the prosecutor.

The defense attorney’s job is to demonstrate to the government’s prosecutor that their case is weak, difficult to prove, and that better resolutions are more reasonable.  One important way of doing this is investigating and knowing which witnesses will be available to testify about what and, just as importantly, what will be admissible in trial.

For a free consultation about your case, call me at (425) 322-1076.

Snohomish County DUI Arrests on the Rise

The Snohomish County DUI and Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force is arresting more Everertt, Monroe, Lynnwood, and Marysville drivers suspected of being impaired.

While enforcing safety on the roads is important, such teams may also be overzealous in their prosecution of citizens who aren’t impaired.

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How accurate is the breath test?

The question, asked at a crucial time in DUI trial in Snohomish County by Attorney Brian Sullivan, expounded on the point the State had sought to obscure. The machine they alleged was so certainly accurate had a much larger margin of error – aka: confidence interval – then they were prepared to answer about. Was it plus or minus 6%? 10%? 25% or more?

Critical in any allegation of DUI is the allegation of BAC. But how accurate is the State’s evidence? Can it be flawed – both up and down? All experts seem to agree it can be. The key to success then in an over .08 breath test case then is explaining this critical fact to the jury.

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Personal Injury Accident Lawyer

Everett, Washington
Personal Injury Attorney.

Compassionate legal representation for those in serious car / truck / motorcycle / pedestrian injury accidents.

Mr. Sullivan brings not only his experience as a former prosecutor but also knowledge of the law as a former clerk at the Washington State Supreme Court. With extensive experience in local courts, he knows how the system in NW Washington works, how to negotiate, and most importantly, how to win trials.

If you have been injured in an auto accident you should consult with an attorney before you make any deals with or accept money from the insurance companies. Make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Accepting money from the other party or their insurance company may keep you from receiving any further recovery. Make sure that you are receiving a fair and just offer and get the compensation you deserve.

An important aspect of an injury case is getting the injured party back to their standing prior to the accident. Mr. Sullivan’s staff of experienced professionals assists in coordinating insurance that is available to cover your bills while you treat for your injury. You can then rest assured that Mr. Sullivan is fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.

Attorney Brian Sullivan works extensively with a great paralegal team to ensure that not only your legal rights are protected, but that you get the service you need. If a fair offer is not available, the case may be set for trial to allow a judge or jury to decide the appropriate resolution.

Attorney Brian Sullivan has an injury settlement and litigation practice, and also practices criminal defense, most regularly for those charged with DUI. These unique areas of law change regularly, and require an attorney who has the experience and knowledge of local courts to get results.

While an insurance company may offer to settle with you by covering your medical bills, you may well be entitled to much more compensation for your losses. Having an attorney on your side will help you get the most recovery possible, from medical bills, to lost wages, to pain and suffering.

Mr. Sullivan limits his litigation practice to personal injury and criminal defense. Most of his cases involve DUI, car / truck / pedestrian / bike / vehicle accidents and other criminal driving offenses. By emphasizing this niche area, Mr. Sullivan has the experience and understanding to get you the results you deserve.


All calls answered by a live person 24/7/365

The Law Office of Brian M. Sullivan, PLLC
2925 Rockefeller Avenue
Everett, WA 98201

Phone: (425) 322-1076
Fax: (425) 609-3760