What You Should Know as Washington State Troopers Crack Down on Drunk Driving
Washington State Troopers in Snohomish, Whatcom, and Skagit Counties have made a record-breaking number of DUI arrests this year. One unit of five troopers recently exceeded one thousand drunk driving arrests in 2018, and those numbers are expected to continue to grow as the end of the year approaches.
In response to the remarkably frequent occurrence of drunk driving in the area, Washington State Patrol is bringing in new troopers to patrol the aforementioned counties and put offending drivers behind bars. However, concerted efforts to crack down on driving under the influence may lead to unwarranted traffic stops, unfair presumption of guilt, and unlawful treatment of drivers by police.
Your Rights When Pulled Over by Police
Lack of knowledge can lead to disaster when it comes to traffic stops. As members of law enforcement gear up for their anticipated crack-down on drunk driving in Seattle-area counties, you are increasingly likely to be stopped by state troopers. This means it is as important as ever that you know your rights when being pulled over, questioned, and/or arrested by police.
Here’s what you need to know if you are pulled over by police on suspicion of drinking and driving:
- You don’t have to go through DUI checkpoints. These have been deemed unconstitutional by the Washington Supreme Court and are generally not practiced by state police. Connect with an attorney immediately if you are forced to submit to investigation or questioning at a DUI checkpoint.
- Police cannot stop you without reasonable suspicion. Washington State Troopers can pull you over if they notice you are straddling lanes, drifting across the road, driving remarkably slowly, or exhibiting other potential signs of drunk driving. You have a right to know why police stopped you, and it will generally bode well for you to ask why in a calm, respectful manner.
- You have the right to remain silent. You certainly don’t have to answer questions from police, but it can certainly create an appearance of guilt if you don’t respond to their questions or only answer some.
- You have the right to refuse to provide your personal information, though not without penalties. If police decide to give you a ticket, you have the right to refuse to give them your name, birth date, and signature. However, this usually results in immediate arrest.
- You have the right to refuse testing, but this also carries penalties. Police are not allowed to force you to submit to field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, and other chemical testing, though they will certainly compel you to do so. However, if you refuse to do so, you will likely be arrested and have your license suspended.
DUI Defense Attorneys in Lynnwood
At Dichter Law Office, PLLC, we know your rights, and we are prepared to protect them. Whether you have just been pulled over by police or have already been charged with driving under the influence, we can provide you with a free consultation over the phone and counsel you regarding your best options. Connect with a member of our team today to secure representation from one of our Washington DUI lawyers.
Let’s talk. Call (425) 296-9358 to get started.