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Strict Washington DUI Penalties for Impaired Drivers who Injure or Kill

Washington State Vehicular Assault

Vehicular Assault is a difficult experience for everyone involved.  The most common factual scenario is two friends driving home from a bar together, the car strikes gravel or goes out of control, and the passenger suffers injuries as a result of the minor accident.  Unfortunately for all involved, and beyond the suffering of the injury, the State of Washington prosecutes this as a felony vehicular assault charge. The statute reads as follows:

RCW 46.61.522 - Vehicular assault — Penalty.(1) A person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle:     (a) In a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or     (b) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502, and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or     (c) With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.     (2) Vehicular assault is a class B felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.     (3) As used in this section, "substantial bodily harm" has the same meaning as in RCW 9A.04.110.

Usually the both friends are upset and sad that the accident happened and that the friend is injured.  But then the police arrive and things progress to the driver being taken under arrest and subjected to a blood test for alcohol or drugs.

The first thing you should do is say "attorney." And say it to whoever asks you about the accident.

The second thing you need to understand is that the charge is a felony and could result in prison time depending on other charges or criminal history.

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