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Woman facing DUI charges after allegedly striking WSP vehicle

Police in Washington have reported that a woman in her early 20s was taken into custody on the night of Dec. 14 on suspicion of drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The woman allegedly struck a Washington State Patrol vehicle with her Honda sedan while under the influence of alcohol and then attempted to flee the scene. Media outlets picked up the story because the patrol vehicle involved was being used by an officer who was assisting with the arrest of another drunk driver at the time.

Reports indicate that the sergeant had pulled over in the vicinity of 40th Street and Rucker Avenue in Everett at approximately 10:00 p.m. when a sedan being driven recklessly swerved onto the shoulder. The sergeant says that the Honda's passenger side mirror then struck the rear lights of his patrol vehicle before continuing northbound on Rucker Avenue. He also claims that the woman could not have missed his patrol vehicle as its blue lights were flashing at the time.

The woman was pursued by a WSP trooper who was also assisting with the DUI stop, and her Honda was pulled over just five blocks from the scene of the accident. Toxicology tests are said to have discovered that the woman was driving with a blood alcohol level of almost three times the .08 percent legal limit. Police say that the incident reveals how many drunk drivers are on the roads during the holiday season and shows why DUI patrols are more common at this time of the year.

The penalties for drunk driving may be enhanced in Washington when blood alcohol levels of .15 percent or higher are involved, but experienced criminal defense attorneys may encourage prosecutors to show leniency in return for a speedy resolution. Trials are expensive and complex toxicology evidence can confuse juries, and prosecutors may choose to avoid the risks of court proceedings when no injuries have occurred and property damage is minimal.

Source: Komo News, "State Patrol: DUI arrest disrupted as trooper's car hit by 2nd DUI driver", Komo staff, Dec. 15, 2017

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