A Snohomish County judge made headlines recently after being busted for DUI. The noteworthiness of the case stems from the fact that this particular judge presides over DUI cases. He was arrested two months ago by a state trooper known for his savvy in tracking down drunk drivers. But in a new development, King5 reports that King County prosecutors will not press charges against the judge, citing insufficient evidence.
According to reports, the judge was driving home from a local country club shortly after 9 p.m. on August 29th, when the trooper’s dash-cam captured him swerving multiple times. The judge was also reportedly driving 53 mph in a 45 mph zone. The trooper said he smelled alcohol and asked for Ryan's registration and insurance.
When the judge revealed his name, the trooper immediately became intrigued. Not only did he recognize the judge’s name, but also realized that the man is a highly respected judge in Snohomish County, often handling DUI cases. The judge refused a breathalyzer and a field sobriety test, and claimed to have consumed only one beer with a fellow judge.
Many people don’t realize that it’s perfectly legal in Washington to refuse a breathalyzer test, under the state’s implied consent law. Your refusal, though, will likely result in an automatic 1-year license suspension. Breathalyzer tests and field sobriety tests are highly subjective, and the results can often be erroneous, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to hire a good DUI attorney whenever you’re arrested for DUI. A good attorney knows how to spot the vulnerabilities in standard sobriety tests, and can often get their results disqualified.
In this particular case, the lack of testing gave prosecutors very little to work with, and the judge was able to beat the charges in less than two months. Although the judge is currently taking a leave of absence, and may receive a one-year license suspension for his refusal to take field sobriety tests, he could be back on the bench very soon, with no permanent damage to his career or reputation.
When it comes to DUI, everybody deserves a fair shake. In this country, people are innocent until proven guilty. If you have been charged with a DUI, don’t try to fight the battle alone. Call the qualified Seattle DUI attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense. You can reach us at 425-284-2000, or visit our website at wolffcriminaldefense.com.