Alcohol/Drug Evaluation – A one-on-one interview with a licensed counselor where the counselor will ask a series of questions to diagnose if the patient has a substance abuse problem and the severity of that problem if it exists. The counselor makes a determination based on certain standardized measures. The counselor will then make a recommendation for treatment.
Arraignment – The initial hearing in the criminal court process. At this hearing, the prosecutor officially charges the defendant with a crime and the defendant enters an official plea. The court sets a the next court date, usually a pretrial or readiness hearing and sets certain conditions that the defendant must follow over the course of the case.
BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) – A measure of how much alcohol one has consumed measured by the percentage of alcohol contained in one’s blood stream.
BAC (Breath Alcohol Content) – A measurement of the percentage of alcohol contained in a person’s breath. The legal BAC limit in the State of Washington is .08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. Measured in Washington by a machine called a Datamaster or Datamaster CDM, breath alcohol content is an approximation of alcohol concentration in one’s blood, or Blood Alcohol Content.
Bail – A tangible asset, usually money that is pledged to or deposited with a court in order to allow the temporary release of an individual.
Bail Bond – Surety bonds used to guarantee the entire bail amount if the accused party fails to maintain the terms of his or her release. The person posting bail generally pays 10% of the total bail amount as a cash guarantee.
Deferred Prosecution – A statutorily created program that allows a person who suffers from alcoholism, drug addiction or mental illness the escape prosecution in exchange for completing a treatment program. A deferred prosecution will result in the charge being dismissed after 5 years of compliance with the conditions of the program. In the event of a violation of any of the conditions, the deferred prosecution may be revoked and a guilty finding entered. Even if the deferred prosecution is successfully completed and the charge dismissed, it will be considered a prior DUI conviction if charged with another offense.
DUI – A gross misdemeanor crime for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.
DUI Victim’s Panel – A common requirement of the court where a panel of victims of drunk-driving accidents speak about their experiences. The DUI Victim Impact Panel allows individuals to hear testimonials of those affected by a drunk driver. The purpose of the Victim Impact Panel is to humanize the dangers of DUI.
Field Sobriety Tests (FST) – A series of physical agility and divided attention exercises administered at the time of the DUI stop. These tests are voluntary. There are several types of these tests including horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand, modified-position-of-attention or Rhomberg test, finger-to-nose, recite all or part of the alphabet, touch each finger of hand to thumb counting with each touch, count backwards from a number such as 30 or 100, and breathing into a “portable or preliminary breath tester” or PBT.
Felony – Generally speaking, a felony is a crime for which the sentence may be more than one year in prison. In the state of Washington, there are three classes of felonies: Class A (maximum penalty of life in prison and $50,000 fine), Class B (maximum penalty 10 years in prison and $20,000 fine), and Class C (maximum penalty 5 years in prison and $10,000 fine). Sentencing in felony cases is governed by the Sentence Reform Act of 1981, which established determinate sentencing based on the seriousness level of the offense (levels I – XVI; level I being the least serious) and the defendant’s “offender score.” The offender score is determined by looking at the number and type of prior convictions.
Gross Misdemeanor – A crime that is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and up to a $5,000.00 fine.
Habitual Traffic Offender – By law, a driver who, within a five-year period, has been convicted of three or more offenses listed in RCW 46.65.02, or has been found to have committed, or been convicted of, 20 or more of the moving violations listed in WAC 308-104-160.
Ignition Interlock Device – A breathalyzer attached to a car’s engine. The ignition interlock works by testing the driver’s breath alcohol content before allowing the car to start. The driver must blow into the device so it can measure their BAC. If the BAC calculated is above a set limit, the engine is locked and the car won’t start. At random times after the engine has been started, the IID will require another breath sample, to help prevent a friend from breathing into the device, enabling the intoxicated person to get behind the wheel and drive away.
Implied Consent Warnings – A set of warnings required to be given pursuant to RCW 46.20.308 in advance of an officer’s request to provide a breath or blood sample, in most instances. These warnings provide a list of consequences for both giving and refusing to give the requested sample.
Minor DUI – Driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol if the person operates or is in physical control of a motor vehicle within this state and the person is under 21.
Misdemeanor – A crime that is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,000.00 fine.
Negligent Driving (First Degree) – Operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor or an illegal drug.
Negligent Driving (Second Degree) – Under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.
Personal Recognizance Release (PR release) – A release of a defendant in a criminal matter, pending trial, that does not require the posting of bail or a surety bond. The conditions of a “PR” release are generally to maintain law abiding behavior, to attend all future court dates and to follow any other non-monetary conditions imposed by the court.
Pretrial Hearing – The second hearing in the criminal court process. A status conference at which the parties notify the court how the case will be proceeding. The case could be resolved at this juncture, set for motions/trial or continued for further investigation or negotiation.
Prior DUI – For purposes of sentencing on a DUI conviction, a prior offense is considered a past DUI conviction, a deferred prosecution (regardless of completion), or a Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment or Negligent Driving in the First Degree conviction when reduced from an original charge of DUI, within seven years of the current charge.
Prosecutor – An attorney who represents the government in criminal proceedings.
Pro Tem Judge (Judge Pro Tempore) – A temporary or part-time judge who fills in for the elected judge.
Reckless Driving – Driving any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Reckless Endangerment – Recklessly engaging in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but creating a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.
SCRAM Bracelet – The SCRAM bracelet measures the amount of alcohol migrating through one’s skin. Twice an hour, the bracelet captures alcohol readings by sampling the insensible perspiration collected from the air above the skin. The bracelet stores the data and, at pre-determined intervals, transmits it via a wireless radio-frequency (RF) signal to the SCRAM modem.
Sentencing Hearing – A hearing where the court formally pronounces the judgment after a finding of guilty.
SR-22 Insurance – A form which must be filed by an insurance company to the state (Department of Licensing) proving that auto liability insurance is in effect for a particular individual. It is a requirement of the DOL that proof of SR-22 be on file prior to license reinstatement after a license suspension is ordered as the result of a DUI arrest or conviction, or Reckless Driving Conviction.