Most people in Vancouver associate drunk driving with minor traffic violations, such as weaving, failing to signal a turn or missing a stop sign. The worst outcome is being pulled over by a police officer and possible suspension of a driver's license. The reality of drunk driving unfortunately can be far more consequential, as a woman recently arrested in Clark County has learned.
A complicated Washington traffic accident on an interstate highway can lead to the closure of several lanes or, on occasion, the entire highway in one direction. Such closures undoubtedly create a temptation to drive around the barriers or ignore police officers who are directing traffic. As a drunk driver demonstrated in a recent traffic accident near Evergreen in the Spokane Valley, such temptation should be resisted.
Drunk driving is a serious crime in the state of Washington, even if no one is injured. If a person who is driving while intoxicated causes an accident in which one or more individuals suffer serious bodily injury or death, the potential penalties can be severe. The driver in a recent accident south of Spokane may face vehicular homicide charges after he allegedly caused an accident that killed one person and injured another.
One of the devices that is commonly used by Washington courts to prevent persons with DUI convictions from operating a motor vehicle if they have been drinking is the ignition interlock. IIDs, as they are commonly called, determine the driver's blood alcohol content by taking a breath sample, much like a breathalyzer. If the driver's blood alcohol content exceeds 0.025 percent, the vehicle will not start because the IID interrupts the ignition circuit. If the driver attempts to disable the IID, the car will not start.
Deputies from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office are investigation the circumstances of a two-car collision in Oregon City in which one driver was killed. The exact sequence of events that led to the collision were not released by police, but the criminal charges lodged against the surviving driver make it appear that drunk driving is believed to be the principal cause.
People who have been convicted of drunk driving seem to have difficulty in controlling the behavior that got them in trouble. A recent head-on collision on I-5 in Shohomish County involved an allegedly intoxicated driver who, according to police, had a long history of prior alcohol-related violations.
Closed circuit television cameras have become so commonplace in modern commerce that their presence is often overlooked unless their lenses may have captured an accident or crime. In a recent two-vehicle accident in Woodland, Washington, surveillance cameras captured almost every second of the incident. This resulted in police issuing drunk driving charges against one man.
Alcohol is commonly blamed for multi-vehicle traffic accidents, but usually only one driver is charged with an alcohol-related traffic violation. A three-vehicle accident on I-84 in Gresham has the unusual distinction of involving two allegedly intoxicated drivers.
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.
One of the significant hazards posed by drivers who are intoxicated is a wrong-way collision on a divided highway. Given the number of visual clues that are available to tell a driver that they are driving in the wrong direction, the occurrence of wrong-way driving always seems to be prevalent. A recent arrest by the Oregon State Police shows how an allegedly drunk driver can appear to be completely detached from reality.