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The Blood Alcohol Level for DUIs in Skagit County May Be Changing

The Washington State Legislature initiated a bill to lower the BAC level for DUI and Physical Control cases throughout the state.

Currently, a person with a blood alcohol level over a .08 is per se driving under the influence of alcohol. If the law is passed, and would be active on July 1, 2023, that level drops to .05. The current law was passed after multiple studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is commonly accepted if a driver has a BAC of .08 or more, than their ability to drive is affected by alcohol. In Skagit County, as well as the entire state, that is the legal standard.

The current standard of .08 correlates to a person drinking about 3 – 4 beers in a couple of hours. That beer is equal to 12 ounces, not 16 or more. In this day of craft brewing, it usually takes a two beers to get to a .08. If this law changes, then a person drinking more than one beer or decent size glass of wine will be per se DUI.

There may be some issues with this new law. For instance, the field sobriety tests use by the Washington State Patrol were created by a driver whose BAC was at least a .08. If the new law in Skagit County, or elsewhere in the state, is .05, then a driver can pass these tests but still potentially have a BAC above .05. Their ability to drive may not be affected, but they will be presumed to be guilty of DUI. This change to the DUI laws will also require drivers to not take a preliminary breath test if they complete the other field tests. An experience DUI lawyer will be able to help you navigate the new legal landscape through Skagit County, as well as the entire state.

In Skagit County, and the cities of Mount Vernon, Burlington, Anacortes, and Sedro-Woolley, DUI charges will increase. That means a driver charged with a DUI will need an experienced criminal law attorney. The technicalities of the new law and the knowledge of the Skagit County court process will be helpful. At Powers Law Group, we have 22 years of criminal law experience. We are a local firm who knows how each agency and local prosecutors approach the law. This new DUI standard requires an attorney who knows how to represent you in Skagit County. Call our office at 360-419-0809 to schedule your consultation today.