Can You Get Charged with Two DUIs for the Same Incident?


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.

One thought on “Can You Get Charged with Two DUIs for the Same Incident?

  1. Not enough facts here to comprehend the charge(s).
    How do you prove he was intoxicated on his first leg of the trip? A “witness” said?

    So someone can drive while intoxicated for 4 hours before he/she stops for gas and get one ticket, but someone that stops for a whiz break or other reason in a 10 minute run can get two?

    What is the point? Is he trying to make the penalty higher than what the system has set or is there actually a specific quirky law made by a quirky legislator for a quirky prosecutor to use?

    This smells mighty strong of a Prosecutor looking for notoriety for political purposes. Exactly what we don’t need in a judge.
    However, as I said, their are not enough facts here to grasp the real situation.

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