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Sun., June 9, 2013

DUI laws too vague

I feel the proposed driving under the influence laws may be unduly vague and treat urban or rural, rich or poor, citizens unequally. I expect costly appeals and delays, anything but swift and sure “justice.”

Up until our last major changes a decade ago, prosecutors needed to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) a suspect’s driving was impaired, regardless of the theoretical blood-alcohol content for an average person’s impairment.

Drivers weren’t often arrested just on a BAC after being pulled over for something else. Without “actual impaired driving” protection in 2003, I had one license plate light out and was later stalked at dusk, after having one drink at a veteran’s club.

I was arrested, despite driving unimpaired, performing a BAC below the legal limit, cooperating, wearing a coat and tie, etc. With witnesses, it was dismissed, but costly.

In the June 4 editorial, in opposition to the argument the new laws, in effect, recriminalize marijuana, despite little evidence that low levels in the blood impair driving; you offer: “The Washington State Patrol’s common-sense response: If driver’s do not exhibit impairment, they will not be pulled over.”

Rrrrrright. They can pull you over for any infraction.

Duane Schofield

Cusick, Wash.

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