Negligent Driving in the First Degree was a crime created by the Washington legislature back in the mid 1990s. It essentially took what was the simple civil infraction of Negligent Driving and created two different categories. The civil infraction became Negligent Driving in the Second Degree. It remained defined as driving in a negligent manner likely to endanger persons or property.
The new charge of Negligent Driving in the First Degree took the language of the infraction and added an element that required the person to exhibit the affects of having consumed alcohol as well as driving negligently. It was a response to concerns from the public that the BAC level required for DUIs should be lowered. The primary result was that it gave the State the ability to charge an alcohol related criminal traffic offense in instances when the individual was not intoxicated or even impaired.
A positive outcome from this legislation, however, was that it gave the state a new offense to which it could reduce DUI charges. Unlike DUI, Negligent Driving in the First Degree (Neg 1) does not involve any mandatory jail or even a license suspension. It is reported to the Washington Department of Licensing as a simple infraction. Importantly, a “Neg 1” can be removed from your record after a period of time.
If you have been charged with a Negligent Driving in the First Degree or wish to see how your DUI charge can be reduced to a “Neg 1”, call or email one of our Washington DUI attorneys.