Negligent Driving, First Degree (RCW 46.61.5249)

You are guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if / when you operate a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers, or is likely to endanger, any person or property, and you exhibit the effects of having consumed liquor or an illegal drug. Negligent driving in the first degree is a misdemeanor.

Defining Negligent Driving

"Negligent" means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or is the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.

"Exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor" means that a person has the odor of liquor on his or her breath, or that by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise exhibits that he or she has consumed liquor, and either: is in possession of or in close proximity to a container that has or recently had liquor in it; OR is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed liquor.

"Exhibiting the effects of having consumed an illegal drug" means that a person by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise exhibits that he or she has consumed an illegal drug and either: is in possession of an illegal drug; or is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed an illegal drug.

Negligent Driving Conviction With Prior(s)

A Negligent Driving conviction as reduced from a DUI or Physical Control charge when there is a prior DUI or Physical Control conviction within 7 years requires a mandatory sentence of a 6 month Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement. This restriction remains in effect, until IID vendor certifies to DOL that none of the following incidents occurred within four months before date of release: 

Regardless of the underlying facts, a conviction for this crime any alcohol related crime has serious consequences to your freedom, insurance rates, the ability to drive, and even your ability to enter into other countries. Preservation of your freedom and a clean criminal record will rest in the hands of your lawyer so it is important to interview as many lawyers as possible so that you are comfortable and choose well.

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