Assessments Equal Public Records

Anytime someone is convicted of a DUI or a charge that is reduced from a DUI in Washington State they are put on probation with the court for a period that is ‘up to’ five years. Probationary conditions can consist of many things. For example, the court will order that the person commit no criminal law violations, not have a BAC of .o8 or greater within two hours of driving, not have any alcohol/ drug related infractions, not to refuse a breath or blood test if lawfully requested to take one by law enforcement, and to pay fines, costs, fees and assessments etc.

In addition to the foregoing, as part of any DUI conviction (or reduced charge) the court will mandate that a person get an alcohol/ drug evaluation by a person or agency that is state certified to conduct such an assessment. These assessments must be filed with the court and thus are open to public viewing and are deemed a ‘public record’. Some folks have recently inquired as to whether their assessments can be hidden, sealed or otherwise non-visible. Well … unfortunately, due to recent changes to Washington’s Public Disclosure Rules (Supreme Court General Rule 31) alcohol/drug evaluations can be viewed by the public, and thus not sealed. The defense bar is currently exploring ways to protect our DUI clients’ privacy interests related to alcohol/ drug assessments since every DUI requires an alcohol/drug evaluation. In some instances attorneys and alcohol/drug treatment agencies have resorted to providing bifurcated supplemental reports to file with the court hoping this will meet the courts’ assessment requirements. Over time, we will see how the courts deal with or otherwise accept these supplemental reports. There are competing interests at play and unfortunately no solid answers are available at this time, that said though … so far so good.

If cited for DUI in Washington state be smart and immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and trained Seattle DUI attorney will sift through the myriad and numerous defenses in a Washington DUI case. So if facing a DUI, do not go it alone, and do not just hire some ‘general’ practitioner. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for DUI in Washington State.

Leave a reply