Bellingham, WA- Last week, Washington State Police introduced the new breathalyzer machines the force will be using to keep drunken drivers off the streets and highways of the state. In a press conference, police said the new machines will allow officers to process suspected drunken drivers faster so officers can get back to patrolling the streets.
According to the Seattle Times, the Dräger Alcotest 9510 will be used in 86 police stations, sheriff’s offices, jails and State Patrol divisions in northeast and southeast areas of the state. That includes Whatcom County.
The Alcotest 9510 will be replacing breathalyzer tests the Washington State Police have been using since 1981. Police officials say the new machines are just as reliable as their current machines and are completely interfaced with the state’s DUI enforcement strategies.
“The Draeger instrument will produce the same accurate results as our previous instrument, but with far less maintenance,” Lt. Rob Sharpe, commander of the Patrol’s Impaired Driving Section said in a press conference according to the Daily Sun News. “They are also easier for officers to operate, and help speed the processing of DUI suspects.”
The new machine is also connected to the police’s database bars and restaurants with liquor licenses so that information can be included in their arrest report. Police believe these new breathalyzer machines will help them reach their goal of completely eliminating fatal drunken driving accidents by 2030.
Most people don’t realize how serious a DUI charge truly is; a conviction can have numerous life-changin consequences. A person could be facing jail, lose their license and have an arrest record that stays with them for years. A DUI conviction is also costly often costing the convicted individual several thousand dollars.
When facing a DUI charge many people ask: “Do I really need a Washington DUI attorney?” The answer is a resounding: Yes, you do need an attorney. Prosecutors rely heavily on police statements and the results of breathalyzer tests. This evidence must be challenged and only an attorney well-versed in Washington’s DUI laws is capable of building a DUI defense.
Even though breathalyzers are considered scientifically accurate, these machines aren’t infallible and can give incorrect readings. Facing a DUI, you need an attorney who understands how these machines work and how to determine if they are kept in proper working order.
Only with a strong defense will you have the leverage necessary to have your charges reduced or negotiate for reduced penalties. You need an attorney who is assertive but is capable of negotiating with prosecutors. This is crucial since pre-trial negotiations can mitigate some of the harsher penalties of a DUI and most cases are settled long before they reach court.
If you have been charged with a DUI, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can face your legal challenges alone. A Bellingham, Washington DUI attorney will aggressively pursue your case and do what it takes to see you avoid conviction.