As the holiday season approaches and millions of people begin to travel, Washington law enforcement is making preparations to double DUI patrols to keep roadways safe. And in the wake of an alarming new study, state police departments are endeavoring out to places they wouldn't usually go to decrease the staggering rate of DUIs statewide. The study, conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, revealed that Washington is ranked as the 13th state with the most drunken drivers. Raising questions regarding whether or not establishments that sell alcohol possess some accountability for individuals who drive under the influence.
Seattle law enforcement plans to take their role in ridding the roads of impaired drivers one step further by reaching out to local bars in King County. In an effort to prevent intoxicated bar-goers from getting behind the wheel, the DUI enforcement campaign will encourage bartenders and employees to tend to customers who may be too drunk to drive, and reassure that every intoxicated customer has a designated driver, Uber access or any other means of transportation. However, the matter of whether customers are being “overserved” has become an issue in the community. When King County deputies stop suspected impaired drivers, they now ask which bar they came from, and ultimately end up notifying the bar to inform bar owners that their bartenders are overserving customers.
The Consequences of Overserving
The Washington State Patrol discovered that most drunk drivers reported that the last bar they had visited was Jazzbones, a popular bar in Tacoma. With nightly live entertainment and an array of alcohol options, it's a common place for bar hoppers to visit. The bar is still up and running, but it has been placed on surveillance by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. Once the board receives information that a bar may be overserving, they check for violations the bar may possibly be committing. Overserving alcohol to customers can lead to several repercussions, such as fines and even the loss of a liquor license. Nevertheless, bar violations are rarely admissible in criminal court, but some individuals involved in a DUI accident choose to sue bars or bartenders who they feel have overserved them.
A DUI conviction in the state of Washington has dire consequences and should not be taken lightly. Your hard earned finances, driving privileges, freedom and future are at stake when have a DUI charge on your record. Anyone facing these charges has a right to a quality legal defense. If you have been apprehended in Washington, call Coleen St. Clair at St. Clair Law Offices (206) 578-2200 or contact her online.