A driver in Seattle was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while under the influence after allegedly causing a three-car accident on the night of Feb. 21. The incident took place in the Seattle neighborhood of Interbay near Ballard at the end of the off-ramp that connects north 15th Ave. West to West Dravus Street a little after 11 p.m., authorities report.
According to investigators, the driver rear-ended a police car. The impact pushed the cruiser into another car that had been waiting at a red light. The driver of the third car and the police officer both suffered minor injuries, for which they were treated and then released. The driver who had caused the collision was processed by a responding Drug Recognition Expert, according to police reports. The driver has been charged with DUI and may face strict penalties if convicted.
A person can be charged with impaired driving while under the influence of either an over-the-counter or a prescribed medication. In some cases, a person may be charged with DUI if trace amounts of a medication are detected in his or her blood even though he or she might have taken the drugs days before. A prosecutor may use the testimony of a DRE to demonstrate that a driver was under the influence of drugs when an incident occurred.
It might be possible to challenge such testimony in court because it relies on a person’s judgment in a situation as opposed to physical evidence such as chemical test results. It is also possible to challenge blood test results if it can be shown that a test was administered improperly. However, there is always the risk that a defendant will be found guilty at trial. One way to avoid this uncertainty is to accept a plea bargain. A DUI defense attorney might negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. If this is the first offense, the prosecutor might agree to a suspended sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.