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Allegedly drunk driver faces DUI, child endangerment charges

Drunk driving is often viewed by Vancouver residents as a "victimless" offense - unless and until a drunk driver causes injury to another person. A recent drunk driving accident in Northeast Vancouver involving young children shows how quickly a DUI can snowball into far more serious charges.

According to Washington State Police, a westbound car on Fourth Plain Road allegedly failed to obey a traffic signal while attempting a left turn into southbound 157th Avenue. According to police, the westbound vehicle failed to obey a traffic signal and crashed into a vehicle traveling east on Fourth Plain Road. The only person injured in the crash was the driver of the turning vehicle. Her medical condition was not available.

The case is complicated by the fact that the driver of the turning vehicle had two boys, ages 11 and 12, in her car. Neither was injured, but their relationship to the driver and their reasons for being in the car were not disclosed. Also, police did not say whether either of the boys was wearing a seat belt. Police at the scene concluded that the driver of the turning vehicle was intoxicated at the time of the accident, although the evidence for this conclusion was not disclosed. She has been charged with a DUI, failure to obey a traffic control device and - because the boys were in the car - child endangerment.

The evidence in this case may seem cut and dried and heavily weighted against the suspect. Nevertheless, she is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until she is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone who faces similar charges may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A capable lawyer may be able to spot defects in the prosecution's case, provide advice on defense strategy and offer an estimate on the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or outright acquittal.

Source: The Columbian, "DUI, child endangerment charges sought after Vancouver crash," Mark Bowder, Nov. 5, 2017

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