The Holiday DUI

With the holidays coming up, everybody’s schedule tends to get a little tighter. Juggling work, shopping, cooking, family and all the other obligations that accompany the holidays. While many people take time off this time of year, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) is not one of them. For a number of years now the WSP has increased their DUI patrols, and thus DUI arrests, during the holidays.

This holiday season will be no different. This is especially true because the WSP plans to roll out a new way of testing an individuals breath. The WSP currently uses a machine referred to as the DataMaster. This machine, and its operating system, was developed back in the 80’s and has undergone little advancement since that time. In 2010, the WSP received approval from the legislature to replace the DataMaster with the new Draeger Alcotest 9510 (Draeger for short). Long story short, this new machine requires less maintenance, is more automated, and takes less time to go through the procedures. So the Draeger will allow the Officer to stop, arrest, a process individuals accused of a DUI much quicker and allow the Officer to get back out on patrol. As a Snohomish County DUI Defense attorney, I have concerns about a machine specifically designed to cut time and be more automated (with no increase in accuracy noted), especially when that machine’s breath test reading will be used to convict someone of DUI (sometimes without much additional evidence).

So, with the holidays around the corner, and a new machine for the WSP to test out, be safe. If you are going to consume alcohol, have a designated driver or call a cab (they  are much cheaper than I am). If you are accused of DUI, call an experienced DUI attorney right away. With a DUI arrest, there are many collateral issues beyond just the criminal charge, you need a DUI lawyer that knows these issues and can get out in front of them. Call the Law Firm of Lucas D. McWethy at 206-427-4901 if you or someone you know is accused of a Snohomish County DUI or other Criminal Offense.

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