National Crackdown on Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

For the past two weeks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been conducting a national campaign titled “Drive High, Get a DUI.” This campaign is to bring awareness to, and crack down on, driving while under the influence of drugs. The tagline of this campaign is, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.” This campaign entails an increase in law enforcement patrols and a crack down on impaired driving.

Driving Under the Influence Has Been On the Rise

Roadway deaths where the driver was under the influence of drugs like marijuana, opioids, and prescription drugs has been on the rise. According to a Governor’s Highway Safety Association study, 44% of individuals who died in traffic crashes in 2016 had drugs in their system. A decade ago, only 28% of individuals who died had drugs in their system at the time of the accident.

The legalization of marijuana is far from the only cause of this rise. Since there is not yet a tool that can be used roadside to test for drugs like there is for alcohol, many people believe they can get away with driving under the influence. Also, opioid use is on the rise, as well as driving while on prescribed medicines. It is important to remember that even though they are prescribed legally, it is still a DUI.

Facing a DUI

If you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge, be sure to contact Charles A. Johnston and his team. Drug related DUIs carry severe penalties such as jail time, loss of driving privileges and big fines. You need to give yourself the best chance to beat a drug related DUI charge, and the only way to do that is to have an experienced legal team in your corner.

For more information about the campaign, check out their website here.

Avoiding DUI Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up this weekend. A day typically full of food, football and fun, drinking is a part of many Super Bowl parties. After the festivities, many get behind the wheel not realizing how impaired they actually are. The most effective way to avoid a DUI charge is simply to not drink and drive. Even if you think you are sober enough to drive, if you have had any amount of alcohol your BAC could suggest otherwise. If you plan on driving, avoiding drinking completely is the only way to eliminate your chance for a DUI arrest.

Here are some tips to follow to avoid a DUI.

  • Eat plenty of food and alternate drinks with water throughout the day.
  • Keep track of your drinks and have a limit for yourself.
  • Set up a safe, sober ride home.
  • If unable to drive, call Uber or a taxi.
  • Ask a friend if you can stay over for the night.

Always have a backup plan. You may plan on driving home but drink more than you planned. Never get behind the wheel if you are intoxicated. Keep the roads safe and avoid a DUI arrest. If you need more advice regarding DUI and DUI laws, contact Charles A Johnston Law today.

What is “Social Host Liability?”

Have you ever hosted a party and served alcohol? If so, you could face legal consequences if one of your guests drives and injures someone or if your guest is under 21. These laws are put in place to deter hosts from allowing intoxicated guests to drive after attending a private social event.

What is the definition of “social host”?

A social host is someone that provides alcohol to your guests for free. It can be a dinner, house party, or graduation party hosted at your residence, or it can be an event you host in a rented property.

What is the liability?

Common law generally says that social hosts are not liable for injury or death related to alcohol they serve to guests, there are exceptions.

  1. Adults have a duty to refrain from negligently or intentionally supplying alcohol to minors. If they knew the minor was driving under the influence they can be liable.
  2. Party hosts have a responsibility not to “furnish” (make available) or “serve” (deliver) alcohol to minors.


What does WA law say?

In RCW 66.44.270 it states, “It is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control.”

What are the consequences?

Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in jail.

Parents, what can you do?

Hosting a party and allowing underage drinking sends the message that underage drinking and breaking the law is ok. Draw the line at underage drinking. Do not supply or encourage underage drinking in your home. Talk to your children about the consequences and provide activities in your home (alcohol free) that make your child’s friends feel welcome.