Can You Get Charged with Two DUIs for the Same Incident?January 14th, 2009 by josh farley
Until this week, I didn’t think there was a way to be charged with multiple counts of driving under the influence.
You drive drunk and get stopped, and that’s it — just one DUI. It’s not like you go home, sober up, then drink up once more, and head out again for a second DUI.
But in fact, there is a way. Prosecutors this week charged a Tacoma man with multiple DUIs for the same criminal fact pattern. Basically, because the man was witnessed driving, then getting out of his car, then getting in it again to drive, that constitutes multiple DUI charges. Here’s what Kitsap County deputy prosecutor Jeff Jahns had to say:
“(It’s) Extremely rare. A distinguishing factor involves a person driving their vehicle while intoxicated, leaving their vehicle to commit another crime, and then getting back in the vehicle and driving away while still intoxicated.”
Even though the man was charged with two, it’s not necessarily a done deal, as with any case, Jahns said.
“The defense may well have a different take on whether such activity is one continuing DUI or two separate DUIs.”
Jahns, I might add, is currently running the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office’s district court division. However, his name’s in the hat to take over the Kitsap County District Court judge position vacated recently by Judge Dan Phillips, who retired.