Last year, opponents of liquor privatization feared that increased accessibility to liquor would lead to a dramatic increase in drunk driving in Washington State. However, after more than a year of liquor privatization, Washington State Patrol statistics indicate that not only did drunk driving rates not increase, but the rates have decreased, reports KPLU 88.5.
Liquor privatization in Washington meant that private retailers took over the sale of liquor in the state. Since the law was passed in June 2012, hard alcohol has become much more accessible as it is sold in big-box stores, grocery stores, and other shops.
Despite the increased availability, the Washington State Patrol study indicates DUI citations and alcohol-related crashes have continued to fall year-over-year, following a long downward trend. However, the State Patrol did caution that other reasons may explain the decrease in DUI incidents including increased police staffing that deter drivers from getting behind the wheel drunk in the first place.
As you may know, Washington lawmakers have significantly strengthened state DUI laws this year. These measures have targeted repeat DUI offenders and increased the use of ignition interlock devices generally. In addition, the Washington State Patrol and local law enforcement offices have stepped up emphasis patrols and coordinated efforts to stop drunk driving during heavy drinking times like holidays and weekends.
These steps have apparently stemmed the negative effects of liquor privatization. However, the increased efforts to stop DUIs may also result in many innocent drivers being accused of crimes they did not commit. If you believe you have been wrongly accused of a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas, you will want to contact an experienced attorney to learn your options and defenses.
Contact a Seattle DUI defense attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense and learn how we can help you. Call us at 425-284-2000 to schedule a consultation.