Archive for the ‘Breath Tests’ Category

OK Google, Am I Drunk?

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

A new app for your smart phone may give you an idea if you are too impaired to drive (presuming you are not too impaired to use the app).

You enter your sex, height, weight and  the number of drinks you have consumed and the app calculates your breath alcohol level (BAC). Honesty is the key here.  See the following article that describes this app:

The feature that estimates blood alcohol levels has users enter their height and weight, and the details about what kind and how many drinks they have consumed. For instance, the app estimates that a 130-pound woman who just drank a glass of red wine would have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 percent.  However, keep in mind that in Washington State you could be below the legal limit, 0.08 for adults, and still be considered impaired by the police officer’s assessment and subsequently you are arrested for DUI.

If you are below the 0.08 line, the app will warn you that your ability to drive may be impaired, and that you should get a cab or have someone else drive you home. If you enable the app to do so, it uses the GPS to call a cab or uses your phone number to call a friend to be your designated i drunk google app

If you want, you can also play a game.  In this game, you press a red “brake” button when an image of a pedestrian passes by or a car ahead of you stops. The game measures just how fast or slow you react and how much time you would have needed to avoid a collision.  Therefore, measuring your impairment.

Another game that claims to test your reaction time and cognitive agility shows nine road signs that blink in a different order.  Users try to recall the order, which gets increasingly challenging with each round.  This is difficult whether or not you have consumed alcohol and may not be a true indicator of impairment.

This app is called  ENDUI, pronounced “End DUI”, and was made for the State of Maryland, funded by federal money reserved for drunken-driving education efforts. The app is free and available now on iOS and Android.  You can download this app in Washington State but remember that Washington State DUI laws may not be the same as Maryland’s laws.

This app is designed to warn you if your driving ability is likely to be impaired and warns you to get a cab or have someone that has not been drinking take you home.    It might be a fun party toy but your best bet is to not drink and drive and more importantly to not rely on this app to determine whether or not you are too intoxicated to drive.

If you find yourself in need of advice to defend a DUI WA or you want to beat a DUI, please call me at 425-422-5818 or visit my website, and fill out a short questionnaire and I would be happy to return your call and discuss the DUI penalties.  Mark W. Garka

Are you DUI ? There is an app for that!

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

What if your Smartphone could tell you if your Breath Alcohol level (BAC) was above the presumptive legal limit (0.08 for adults)?

As more and more of us are buying Smartphones, and we may also use a Portable Breath Test (PBT) device; what if we could combine the two devices so we would know when we are safe to drive after consuming alcohol?

Some new devices are small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, and cost as little as $50.00. Some simply require you plug the device into your Smartphone, blow, and you can see your BAC level. While you may consider this a tool to help you make a smart decision to drive or to take a taxi, beware that even if you are below the presumptive limit, you can still get a DUI. See the Today Show report below:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Or the CNN report seen in this video:

Three such DUI breath test devices on the market are: Breathometer, Alcohoot and BACtrack Mobile. Some informal testing has been done and, let’s just say that you shouldn’t trust these devices yet. Even the maker of the Breathometer suggests that “Nothing ever replaces good judgment and at no time should you drink and drive.” See report:

One big issue that arises is the misconception that you can be below the legal limit, again, a 0.08 for adult drivers, and will not get a DUI. If an officer thinks you are impaired, then you WILL be arrested for a DUI, regardless of your “low” breath alcohol number. In short, don’t trust the numbers and always remember that it is safer not to have anything to drink before you drive.

While this technology is interesting, and would be a blast at parties, I wouldn’t use it as an approval to drink and drive. The safest bet is to NOT drink anything and then drive. While it is not illegal to drink and drive, there is a movement by law enforcement to find and arrest all drivers that have consumed alcohol.

If you find yourself in need of legal advice for a DUI or you want to beat a DUI, please call me at 425-422-5818 and I can discuss the WA State DUI process. Also, please visit my website, Mark W. Garka


Are you DUI ? There is an app for that!



“Voluntary” Checkpoints in Washington State?!? Are You Kidding Me?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Sobriety Check Points are UNCONSTITUTIONAL in Washington State, but the government is trying to sneak in checkpoints and couching them as “voluntary.”

Here is how the end run to our State Constitution will work:  Survey teams, sponsored by the Government (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials, and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission) will create random checkpoints and stop drivers.  A driver will be “asked” to “volunteer”  samples of breath, saliva and or submit to a dui blood test and they state that their goal is to give the Government a better idea on “how many people drive impaired”.  Furthermore, the participants get $60!washington state volunteery sobriety checkpoint

In addition to giving up your Constitutional Right to be left alone, ARTICLE I – SECTION 7 INVASION OF PRIVATE AFFAIRS OR HOME PROHIBITED:, no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.

These roadside surveys began in early June of this year. The pilot project started in Spokane and Yakima counties, followed by Kitsap and Whatcom counties, and we will most likely see it coming to King and Snohomish counties.

This project is not new in the United States, as Texas tried out this program and then pulled out, and apologized to its citizens. The problem is that people feel compelled to participate. If a driver refuses to participate, or if the Government officials feel the driver is impaired, and the driver refuses “assistance” then the nice police officer who is conveniently standing by will arrest the driver.

We are getting so used to the Government trampling our Rights, we will, for a mere $60 be happy to give up our right to not have the Government invade our private affairs.  We will allow the Government to implement unconstitutional roadside sobriety road blocks.

Listen up people! Don’t give in to the Government’s intrusion. Refuse to participate. Just say “no” to this Governmental tyranny.

For more information, see: and

If you find yourself having to defend a WA DUI and from the Government in a DUI case, contact my office at 425.422.5818 for an initial in-office consultation.  I serve most counties in the greater Puget Sound Area, including but not limited to Snohomish County DUI, King County DUI, and I even defend DUIs in Ellensburg and Yakima.  Mark W. Garka,

Underage Drinking: Don’t remember your graduation for the wrong reasons!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Underage Drinking Has Serious Consequences In Washington State

High School Graduation is a time for celebration. June is approaching where a large number of 18 year olds will be leaving High School and entering the” “real” world where they will need to make adult decisions.Underage drinking

For as long as there has been an age limit on drinking alcohol, there have been underage children trying to get their hands on it.  They have used fake ID’s, older friends to buy it, and many other tactics to get around Washington State’s liquor laws.  Some underage children have even turned to alternative products that contain alcohol. Over the past years, children have consumed mouthwash, cough syrup, and vanilla extract, all in the pursuit of a buzz. There is now a new product that children are consuming; hand sanitizer!

Recently, six teenagers ended up in a Los Angeles ER with alcohol poisoning after consuming hand sanitizer (for more info. See  These teenagers have figured out a way to distill hand sanitizer into its pure alcohol form. The result is a 120 proof alcohol that they consume.  A few drinks by an individual of this concentrated alcohol can result in a high enough blood alcohol level to fail the DUI breath test and get arrested for a DUI under 21 in Washington State. Health officials now warn parents of the potential risk that hand sanitizers can pose and urge them to switch to the foam based hand sanitizers.

Underage drinking has serious consequences.  Please enjoy a sober graduation and If you are a minor or know one that has been accused of Washington State DUI or a Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) charge, you need an Washington State DUI lawyer or Snohomish County DUI Defense Lawyer.

If you need to beat a DUI and are not represented by counsel you can reach me at (425) 422-5818 or visit my website at  Mark W. Garka



Washington State Department of Licensing just made getting a DUI even more expensive!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) is set to raise the cost of an administrative hearing from $200 to $375. The date of this sharp new increase is October 1, 2012.

In Washington State, if you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Physical Control, or Minor Driving After Consuming Alcohol (Minor DUI), you are afforded an opportunity to save your driving privilege that normally occurs after your arrest. If your alcohol concentration is over the legal limit (.08 for an adult – or .02 for a minor) or you refuse a breath or blood test, you are subject to an administrative license suspension or revocation by the Department of Licensing under the Implied Consent Law (RCW 46.20.308).

A Driver who is arrested will have a hole punched in their Driver’s License. This punch makes an otherwise valid license a temporary license. A Driver who has a temporary license will be able to drive for 60 days after his/her arrest.

The DOL seems to be discouraging Drivers from challenging the loss of license by sharply increasing the cost of the hearing.  A recent informal survey of National DUI attorneys confirmed that Washington State has the highest administrative costs for a DOL hearing and at least one state grants these hearings for FREE.

Is it still worth having a hearing now that the DOL has nearly doubled the cost of the hearing? In my opinion the answer is “YES.”

The DOL Hearing affords an opportunity to challenge the State’s case against the Driver, and information found in the DOL process may afford leverage or a victory on the Criminal case.

Don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions about Washington State laws regarding the DOL process. You can call me at  (425) 422-5818 or visit my website at Mark W. Garka

Let The Celebrations Begin!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

In a recent article from the Tukwila Reporter, the Washington State Patrol reminds us that graduation season is upon us. See:

In earlier blog posts, I have discussed the “holiday” dangers of drinking seasons, and the  concern that minors are finding different ways to consume alcohol,

It is a major concern that we are facing a drinking holiday – Graduation – that involve minors and youthful drinkers. Adults are not immune to celebrations either, so if you have a loved one graduating from high school or college, please be safe and plan ahead.  The best way to avoid a Snohomish County WA DUI is to not drink and drive.  If you do decide to consume alcohol this graduation season, either appoint a designated driver or keep the number of Taxi Cab company on hand.

Have you or a loved one been accused of DUI and are not represented by counsel?  You need the help of an experienced Snohomish County DUI attorney.  Please don’t hesitate to call my office with questions about the Washington State DUI process, or any other questions you may have.  You can reach me at (425) 422-5818 or visit my website at

Ready or Not, Washington State is Privatizing Alcohol Sales.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Starting June 1, 2012, adults will be able to purchase alcohol in stores – other than State Liquor Stores. In November 2012, Washington voters approved Initiative 1183 (I-1183), which allows for private sector retail sales of liquor. I-1183 allows retailers to buy liquor and wine directly from manufacturers. The ability to buy liquor directly from manufacturers could result in lower prices on liquor for the consumers, however, there is a concern that the privatization of liquor sales may actually raise the cost of alcohol. See, the following Seattle Times article for that speculation.

On the other hand, I-1183 could mean increased convenience for consumers purchasing liquor, since more than four times as many stores would sell liquor (according to state estimates). Washington State’s budgeting office estimates liquor sales would increase 5 percent under I-1183. For more information, the text of Initiative 1183 may be found here.

The privatization of liquor sales raises public safety concerns. Some citizens are concerned that making liquor more readily available may increase alcohol-related issues in the state. These issues include increased drunk driving and car accidents. In an attempt to address these public safety concerns, I-1183 dedicates $10 million of fees and revenues associated with the privatization of liquor sales toward improving public safety.

A study from George Mason University found no appreciable difference in alcohol-related behavior in states with private-run liquor stores and government-run liquor stores. Specifically, the study showed that there is no significant difference in DUI rates between states where liquor is privately sold and those where the government oversees liquor sales. See,

However you feel about the debate on price vs. convenience, personal responsibility must dictate on how we choose to consume alcohol. It is up to the individual to refrain from driving after consuming alcohol. Making the choice to drive after consuming alcohol could result in being pulled over by the police and later charged with a DUI – even if you are below the legal limit for DUI (.08 for adults).

If you have been arrested for a DUI, and you have questions about a Washington State DUI and its consequences, you need to contact an attorney skilled in the Washington State DUI process. If you are not represented by counsel, please don’t hesitate to call my office at (425) 422-5818 or visit my website at Mark W. Garka.

WARNING: Anyone Can Be Accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A DUI can happen to anyone.  You go out for some drinks, have a nice time, and decide that you are going to get behind the wheel and drive home.  The unfortunate effect of alcohol is that sometimes it alters our perception; including our perception of our own ability to drive.

Making the choice to drive after consuming alcohol could result in being pulled over by the police and later charged with a DUI.  Think this won’t happen to you, check out my prior blog “53 Arrests in 2 days – The Return of Snohomish County DUI Patrols”:

A DUI can happen to anyone, regardless of age, sex, or occupation; even to a police officer.  This was all too apparent to John Fox, a veteran of the Seattle Police Department that was charged with a DUI after causing a four car accident in Mukilteo back in October.  Unfortunately, John Fox’s incident did not serve as enough of a deterrent to fellow Seattle Police Sergeant, Joe Fountain.

Sergeant Fountain was arrested last weekend for suspected DUI.  Sergeant Fountain was observed driving a unmarked Seattle Police Department vehicle, and subsequently pulled over, for committing a series of traffic infractions.  The officer conducting the stop recognized the Sergeant, and recognized that possibly he was intoxicated, and notified the Washington State Patrol to come and take over the investigation.  Sergeant Fountain was later arrested for DUI.  There is no indication that Sergeant Fountain was on duty at the time of the incident, however the Sergeant has been transferred pending an investigation by the Seattle Police Department.  While Sergeant Fountain was arrested for suspected DUI, it is unknown at this time if he will be officially charged with a DUI by the City or State Prosecutors.  For more information see:

It just goes to show you that no one gets a free pass in Washington State.  Whether you are a regular citizen, a politician, or a police officer, you still must abide by the Washington State DUI laws and their consequences.

Do you have questions about the Washington State DUI process? Have you been accused of a DUI in Seattle Washington and are not represented by counsel?  You need a Washington State DUI attorney.  Please don’t hesitate to call my office at (425) 422-5818 for help.

53 Arrests in 2 days – The Return of Snohomish County DUI Patrols

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

It’s that time of year again.  The holiday season is upon us, the kids are on break from school, the in-laws are visiting, and Snohomish County has increased their DUI patrols.

Snohomish County’s DUI Target Zero task force increases their presence during the holiday season, specifically in the Lynnwood and Mill Creek areas.  The Lynnwood and Mill Creek area have typically seen the most DUI related collisions, so they also receive the majority of the increased DUI patrol presence.  For more information on the Target Zero Team, see my prior blog post at:

Over the weekend of December 16th and 17th the DUI task force arrested a reported 53 impaired drivers throughout Snohomish County.  This increased number is due in part to the utilization of the Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU).  The MIDU is a mobile unit that allows the officers to turn the driver arrested for DUI over to the MIDU instead of having to return to the station.  The MIDU then administers the official breath test and possible booking.  The use of the MIDU allows the officers to get back on the street much faster.

With this increased presence of DUI patrols, be safe, and don’t consume alcohol if you are going to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.  The cost of a DUI in Washington State is much more than the cost of cab ride home.

Have you been accused of drunk driving in Snohomish County WA?  You need to contact a Snohomish County WA DUI attorney.  If you are not represented by counsel, please don’t hesitate to call my office at (425) 422-5818 or visit my website at  Mark W. Garka

Do You Have The Right To Remain Free On A DUI Charge?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

As an individual accused of the crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you are afforded a great deal of rights under our legal system; the right to remain silent, the right to council, the right to a trial, etc.  Unfortunately the right to remain out of custody is not one of those guaranteed rights.

In the instance of a DUI, once the Prosecutor files charges, you receive an arraignment date to appear before the court with a summons.  At this appearance the Prosecutor will present the charges against you and the Judge will both review the charges and either impose conditions upon you if you wish to remain out of custody or take you into custody and set bail.  These conditions can vary from court to court and depend in part on your criminal history.

The following is a list of standard or normal DUI conditions.  Many courts will impose these conditions on anyone who is charged with a DUI.  Courts typically have their own specific conditions they use, but most will be a combination of all or some of the following:

  • Do not commit any violations of any law;
  • Keep the clerk of the court advised of your current address;
  • Do not drive without a valid license and proof of insurance;
  • Do not possess or  consume alcohol or a non-prescribed controlled substance;
  • Do not refuse to submit to a breath or blood sample to determine its alcohol content if required by a police officer (this typically does not include the Portable Breath Test (PBT);
  • No Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) result of .08 or more;
  • Do not drive within 24 hours after use of alcohol or mood altering drugs.

The court does have the power to further restrict your freedom if they feel that you are either a safety risk to yourself and/or to the public.  Many times the court will base this decision on the specific facts involved in the charge (if violence was involved, breaking conditions previously set by the court, etc.) and/or your criminal history (previous DUIs or other drug/alcohol related offenses).  In these cases the court will typically impose one or all of the following (in addition to the above standard conditions):

  • The defendant shall not operate any motor vehicle without an approved ignition interlock system;
  • The defendant is required to wear a SCRAM bracelet;
  • The defendant may not leave the State of Washington;
  • The defendant may not frequent any establishment whose primary business is to sell alcohol.

In the most extreme cases the court has the power to deny you your freedom entirely unless you post bail in the amount set by the court.  In those cases, even if you do post bail, the court may require you to adhere to any or all of the above conditions.

Are you facing a DUI charge in Washington State?  Don’t  hesitate to call my office at (425) 422-5818.

Mark W. Garka