Posts Tagged ‘Washington State DUI’

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

Be Careful – Thanksgiving is the Busiest Drinking & Driving Season

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

WA DUI Emphasis patrols will be in force this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving is the time to travel and celebrate with families, and apparently, it is the start of the busiest drinking and driving time of the year. According to some, more than 700 people are injured or killed each day during this holiday season.

Because of this trend, the day before Thanksgiving has been labeled: “Blackout Wednesday”.  Remember to be safe and do not drink and drive.

I represent ALL DUIs in the Greater Puget sound area, including DUI in Edmonds WA, Everett WA DUI, King County DUI, Lynnwood WA DUI, Mill Creek WA DUI, Seattle WA DUI, and Snohomish County WA DUI.

If you have been arrested for drinking and driving on “Blackout Wednesday” or during this holiday season,  or you need a to defend a DUI WA, don’t hesitate to contact my office.  Mark W. Garka, Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC, 425-422-5818


WA DUI Emphasis DUI Patrols During Thanksgiving Holiday Week

The Right to Face Your Accuser, All of Them.

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

In 2008, Eric Rachner was arrested for obstruction of justice by the Seattle Police Department (SPD).  Rachner and a group of his colleagues were involved in a pub crawl while playing “urban golf,” a drinking game that involves swatting giant sponge golf balls from one bar to the next.  Rachner and his group were stopped by the SPD because the SPD was investigating a report that the group had hit a passerby in the face with a sponge golf ball.

Rachner, clearly not matching the description of the man who hit the sponge golf ball, was asked for his identification by an SPD officer.  Rachner refused to remove his ID from his wallet stating that he had done nothing wrong and the police officer did not have the right to demand his ID.  The SPD officer insisted that he had the legal authority to demand the ID and when he did not get it, he arrested Rachner for obstruction of justice.  Under Washington State law, a police officer can detain an individual to determine their identification and whether or not it fits the description of someone they are looking for.  However, under Washington State law, a refusal to produce identification is not grounds itself for arrest.

Out of this incident Rachner was charged with obstruction of justice, a charge which he chose to fight.  Rachner and his lawyer received the police officers dash camera video of the incident,  but Rachner recalled more vehicles on the scene and requested their videos as well.  According to the SPD, those videos had been destroyed.  But Rachner, being a computer security expert in his day job, did some research and discovered that in all likelihood, the extra videos still existed.  After a public records request, and some additional litigation, Rachner discovered a total of 6 videos of the incident, and only one was originally turned over.  Through Rachner’s litigation and investigation, he has discovered what he alleges is evidence that the SPD has in many cases not been turning over all the videos involved in various arrests.  This includes not turning over some videos to the Feds when they are investigating various actions of alleged excessive use of force.

Here are the 2 police arresting video cams:

Information is power, and to mount the most effective defense to an allegation of drunk driving in Snohomish County WA you need all the information available.

I have posted a few blogs about the potential of officers wearing body cams to record their interactions with civilians ( ); this would mean that there should be a video for every officer, for every encounter.  Rachner’s experience has shown us that we cannot always take things at face value, but must also rely on our own memory of the incident.  Was there another witness that was not recorded?  Were there other police cars with dash cameras?  Pleading guilty to a DUI in Washington state is a big decision, one that should not be made without having all of the information and all your options available to you.

If you have been accused of a Seattle WA DUI, then you need a Seattle DUI lawyer or you want to discuss the WA State DUI process.  If you or a loved one have been accused of a DUI and are not represented by counsel, please don’t hesitate to call my office at (425) 422-5818 or visit my website at



A DUI Arrest Affects More Than Just You!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

When you are arrested for a DUI it certainly effects you and that reality comes true when the officer slaps the handcuffs on your wrists. However, your arrest also affects others. Imagine having a friend or family member in the car with you when yA DUI Arrest Affects More Than Just You!  ou are arrested. They must then find a way home when your car is impounded. If you get a DUI with children in your car that are under the age of 16, CPS (Child Protective Services) will become actively involved.

Your job could be at risk; affecting your loved ones. Your time will be spent going to court, meeting with your WA State DUI Lawyer, and cleaning up your situation.

Also, consider this: What happens to your puppy that you left at home when you are arrested? Watch this video, “Friends Are Waiting” by Budweiser, for a touching reminder:

Have you been arrested for DUI and need help and you want to find the best Snohomish County DUI Defense Lawyer? Please contact my office at 425-422-5818 if you need to discuss the WA State DUI process. 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!



DUI Arrests, The Final Frontier

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

WSP Aircraft Hunting For DWI Drivers

In a recent turn of events, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) is now looking for impaired drivers from aircraft.

In an article from the Everett Herald we have learned that the airplane’s crew can be called in to spot and follow or locate drunk or aggressive drivers. The estimated cost of each of these airplanes is not listed, but the cost of the Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) ( which is used in military airplanes is an estimated $400,000 each.  There is no estimate on how much it costs to operate the program on a monthly basis.  Last year, without the airplane program in place, WSP netted 18 impaired drivers on a busy summer weekend in Snohomish County. Presuming the same number of drivers are arrested this year during the same busy summer weekend and if the two airplanes are used to help with the arrest, the cost would be over $44,000 per DUI driver.  Is this cost effective?  Really?

For more information, see:

If you have been arrested for a DUI and you would like to speak to Snohomish County DUI Defense Lawyer or you want to find the best DUI lawyer in Mill Creek, WA to discuss the WA state DUI process, please call 425-422-5818 and visit my website at  Mark W. Garka

Wahing dui attorney


Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

drive high and get a dui in waMarijuana DUI Laws In WA State.

After much anticipation, it is now legal to consume recreational marijuana purchased from state endorsed stores in Washington State. With the arrival of recreational marijuana comes the reminder, that if you get high, and then drive, you can get a DUI.

Unlike an alcohol DUI, where the suspect is given a DUI breath test, a marijuana DUI involves a trip to the hospital for a DUI blood test.  However, the officer can also make an arrest based on observed impairment.

Just like an alcohol DUI, a person charged with a Marijuana DUI is subject to jail time, loss of license, and paying high fines.

For more information see:,,

Also visit this video:  

If you enjoy a bit of the recreational marijuana and find yourself in trouble with the law while driving under the influence of Marijuana, contact my office as soon as possible to discuss what we can do to help you.  Mark W. Garka,, 425-422-5818


“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,

Another Issue Arises On The Road To Washington State’s Progressive Marijuana Policy

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Federal Government Bans Pot On Military Bases In Washington State

It is not news that Washington State has become one of the most progressive States in legalizing Marijuana.

I have previously blogged about interesting issues that have come up with Washington State’s Marijuana policy and driving under the influence of Marijuana or pot.  See: usa military and marijuana laws

Now, there is another interesting new twist to deal with:  The Federal Government has reminded us that it has a ban with pot on military bases in Washington State.  What does that mean to our military service members here in Washington State?  Pot use remains off-limits to military service members.  If you are in the service (Active-Duty and National Guard members), and you are caught with Marijuana, you  face possible expulsion from the service.

Currently, if you are in the service, you are subject to random UAs.

The Federal Government will root out drugs in the Military,  and all soldiers and airmen are hereby ordered not to possess or use marijuana.

Even if you are not yet in the military, and you have hopes and dreams of joining, beware,  the new state laws also do not change standards for new recruits.  While past marijuana use doesn’t automatically bar military service, enlistees are given 2 UAs after joining and failing either one would mean that you are no longer able to join the military.

For more information, see:

Are you in the military, and have been arrested for Driving under the Influence of Pot or DUI Marijuana or Washington State DUI? Call my office at 425.422.5818 for a free in-office consultation.  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