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Teen accused of drunk driving after 3-car accident on Highway 14

Penalties for drunk driving in Washington are severe enough by themselves, but when the accused is a teenager, a conviction for drunk driving can have disastrous consequences for the accused's entire life. A recent accident in Vancouver on Highway 14 is allegedly the result of drunk driving by an 18-year-old teenager.

The accident occurred at the Columbia Shores exit from Highway 14 east of downtown Vancouver. A vehicle was leaving Highway 14 when it was rear-ended by a BMW. The force of the collision pushed the second car into another vehicle. Police say that when they arrived, they found a BMW on the side of the exit ramp with no driver present. After a brief search, the teenage driver was found outside the highway boundary fence. The driver and passenger in the first car struck by the teenager suffered serious injuries.

The driver suffered a cracked sternum, broken ribs and a punctured lung. His passenger suffered a broken nose and cheek bone.

The arresting officer alleges that he smelled alcohol on the teenager and that he found a BMW key in the boy's pocket. A preliminary blood test showed that the teenager's blood alcohol content level was 0.156 percent, almost twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. According to court records, the teenager's BAC was 0.101 percent when he was booked into the Clark County jail. Police have alleged that excessive speed by the BMW driver was a factor in the crash. No charges have been filed yet.

When people are convicted on drunk driving charges, they may face jail time, fines and the loss of their driver's license. However, there are long-term effects of a drunk driving conviction as well. Even after one's sentence has been served the charges one is convicted of may remain on one's criminal record for many years. This could prejudice a person's efforts to find a responsible job and impair his or her ability to borrow money. Therefore, it is important that those accused of drunk driving understand what defenses they have at their disposal, so they can have the charges against them reduced or dropped entirely.

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