The Washington Supreme Court delivered a ruling this week that found that cities, counties, and utility companies in Washington may be liable for car crashes -- including crashes caused by alcohol -- if the crash is due to faulty road design, reports The Associated Press.
In a near unanimous 8-1 ruling, the court found Skagit County and Puget Sound Energy to be responsible for injuries caused by a drunk driving accident. The state Supreme Court overturned a lower court's decision.
The drunk driving accident at issue occurred near Anacortes. Two individuals had been drinking and were hurt when their car ran off the road and struck a utility pole. The individuals sued the utility company and argued that despite the drinking and driving, they were injured because the utility company placed the utility pole dangerously close to the road -- closer than dictated by the guidelines.
The Supreme Court ruled that government entities had a duty to ensure that roads are safe for public travel. The court found this to be true even if the driver was partially at fault for the accident such as when drinking and driving. However, despite the ruling, the court did find that a jury could potentially eliminate any award to the plaintiffs on other legal grounds that were not argued before the court.
There are many different legal issues relating to drunk driving in the State of Washington. Individuals who are involved in a drunk driving case may be subject to both civil and criminal action.
At Wolff Criminal Defense, we focus on DUI defense in criminal matters. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys will help you handle your criminal defense so that you can focus on other matters like your personal needs, health, and possibly a civil lawsuit.
If you have been charged with a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas, contact us at 425-284-2000 to discuss your case.