Seattle Traffic, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney

Available 24/7 – (206) 729-3477
The Best in Traffic, DUI and Criminal Defense

The Seattle DUI and Criminal Defense Blog

Arizona to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana

Posted Friday, September 2, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

The Arizona Supreme Court rejected the final challenge to a voter initiated act seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, as is the law in Washington. The challenge came from an anti-marijuana group and was dismissed in a lower court after the judge found the group did not have a right to sue.

Proposition 205 will now be on the ballot in November, and if passed, the measure will allow adults 21 and older to carry up to one ounce of marijuana and consume it privately. Adults may also cultivate up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed space and possess the marijuana produced by the plants.

Permalink to this entry

Talking and Driving-Not That Simple

Posted Friday, August 26, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

Most people know state law prohibits using a cell phone while driving a car, the argument being talking while driving is simply too distracting. But the actual law restricting such use is not so clear.

RCW 46.61.667 prohibits “a person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear….” You notice the wording does not prohibit one from actually talking on a phone, but simply “holding the device to your ear.” Many people have contacted me about this who were cited but didn’t make the connection yet. In other words, they weren’t actually speaking with anyone when pulled over so is this still a violation?

The answer depends on who you ask. The majority of judges and prosecutors I have dealt with on this issue strictly read the statute as prohibiting holding a device to your ear, even if you aren’t speaking with anyone.

However, a couple of municipal police agencies in Snohomish County don’t quite interpret the law so strictly. Rather, officers will only cite a person for this violation if it is clear they are speaking with someone and not just holding the phone to their ear. The reason? They say this is the intent of the statute and will enforce it accordingly.

Can we all say Hands Free!

Permalink to this entry

Legal Protection from Bad BBQ-ing Neighbor?

Posted Friday, August 26, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

I was in Snohomish County District Court last week for several traffic matters. Before these cases were called, the judge agreed to hear a No-Contact Order Petition filed by one neighbor against another. The reason? The petitioner stated he was fed up with his neighbors “very bad-smelling BBQ.” Although somewhat sympathetic, the judge denied the petition, explaining one neighbor has a right to legally BBQ on their own property…despite the bad sauce.

Permalink to this entry

What’s the “Gore Point” You Ask?

Posted Friday, August 19, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

I know this sounds like a phrase from a slasher movie focusing on maximum carnage. But for those who enjoy Hollywood’s blood and gore, you will not be impressed. In roadway parlance, the “gore point” is the section of two merging roadways that usually are marked with white tapering lines. This area is officially called the “gore point” and traveling over this area is prohibited.

To put the lawyer hat on, RCW 46.61.150 states: “Whenever any highway has been divided into two or more roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section or by a median island not less than eighteen inches wide formed either by solid yellow pavement markings or by a yellow crosshatching between two solid yellow lines so installed as to control vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official traffic-control devices or police officers.”

I understand this law can be frustrating because a “gore point” is hardly a physical barrier and is usually just empty, unused space that could be put to good use, in some cases widening roadways or adding an extra turn lane. However, my advice is to stay out of that space while driving unless directed by law enforcement. Otherwise you could be subjected to a $411 fine…yes, for driving in empty space.

Permalink to this entry

Uber Reducing DUI Charges? Not Quite.

Posted Thursday, July 28, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

I admit it…I love using Uber. So do many of my friends and family in because it’s so convenient. But what about Uber’s claim that ride-sharing services has reduced drunken driving? One would think this true but a new study is casting doubt.

Researchers at Oxford University and USC who examined data before and after the arrival of Uber and its competitors found that ride-sharing had no effect on drinking-related or holiday- and weekend-related fatalities.

One reason could be that despite their popularity, there still may not be enough ride-share drivers available yet to make a dent in drunken driving. Also impaired riders who call Uber are the ones who would have called a taxi anyway.

As ride-sharing services continue to gain traction, I would expect a shift in those numbers. But time will tell. Just be careful out there.

Permalink to this entry

Contact Andrew Today…

47.6057080 -122.3302060