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Was Driver Who Slid Car Onto WSP Office Lawn Actually Drunk?

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Oct 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Washington State Patrol DUI Presumption
Law enforcement, the media, and safety advocates have all combined to paint an inaccurate picture of a typical "drunk driver." An intoxicated individual is depicted as someone who is wildly careening on and off the roadway and performing "stupid" maneuvers. While there are certainly many DUI cases that fall into this category, it's gotten to the point where people assume that any type of bad driving is caused my alcoholic impairment.

Consider the incident which was reported this week by the Associated Press.

In Burlington, Washington around 1am Wednesday morning, a car slid off Chuckanut Drive and onto the property of a Washington State Patrol facility. The 49-year old male driver got out of his car and went to an emergency phone to call for assistance. He and a passenger were eventually transported to a nearby hospital.

But a WSP spokesperson said that they believed the man was drunk.

Apparently, this statement was not made with the support of any evidence such as breath test results or even a field sobriety test. It should also be noted that the WSP facility sits just off a roundabout and near a curve on Chuckanut Drive. In the early morning hours, it wouldn't be difficult to miss a curve and slide onto the WSP's lawn - sober or not.

Here's the truth of the matter: many perfectly sober people drive unpredictably. And many legally intoxicated drivers operate a car quite well (even better than regular drivers, in some cases). So it doesn't benefit anyone to toss around assumptions of drunkenness before they are proven.

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


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