Don’t Press Your Luck By Drinking and Driving on St. Patrick’s Day, Seattle DUI Accident Attorney Says

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Seattle-based personal injury lawyer Dean Brett urges motorists throughout Washington to be safe and sober on the roads during the holiday period.

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Seattle personal injury attorney Dean Brett

I don’t want to spoil anyone’s St. Patrick’s Day fun, but people need to realize that if they drink and drive, they’re not only playing with their own luck but the fortunes of every car, motorcycle or pedestrian on or near the road.

St. Patrick’s Day festivities can quickly turn to tragedy if a person chooses to drink and drive after going to a bar or party, Seattle personal injury attorney Dean Brett said today.

With state and local law enforcement stepping up their DUI patrols, a Washington drunk driver faces a great risk of being arrested, Brett warned. He also said drunk drivers face the danger of being involved in an accident that can harm themselves, innocent victims and their families.

“I don’t want to spoil anyone’s St. Patrick’s Day fun, but people need to realize that if they drink and drive, they’re not only playing with their own luck but the fortunes of every car, motorcycle or pedestrian on or near the road,” Brett said.

“If you consider the serious consequences of drunk driving – especially the risk of causing an accident, injury or death – you would never get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking.”

Brett’s Seattle-based personal injury law firm, Brett & Coats, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, focuses on representing motor vehicle accident victims, including those harmed in drunk-driving crashes.

The firm has dedicated a website,, to providing information and other resources to Washington residents whose lives have been harmed by an accident with an intoxicated driver.

At any point in the year, drunk driving presents a safety problem in the state of Washington, Brett said, pointing to statistics compiled by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. According to the WTSC, 491 people died on Washington’s interstates, highways and streets in 2009 in alcohol-related crashes. Driver impairment, in fact, played a role in 53.8 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities, the WTSC reports.

Holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and New Year’s Day traditionally include celebrations that involve drinking, and the risk of a DUI accident may be at its highest. That’s why the WTSC provides funds to law enforcement during those periods that allow for the use of patrols that target alcohol-impaired drivers.

This year, the extra DUI patrols will be out in full force through March 22, according to the WTSC. Last year, during this same period, the patrols netted 281 DUI arrests in King County alone, the WTSC reports.

“A drunk-driving arrest can lead to a license suspension, fines and jail time,” Brett said. “If you are convicted of DUI, it can also establish automatic negligence if you cause an accident.

“Ultimately, our law firm’s concern lies with the victims and families of those who are injured in DUI accidents. We believe that anyone who hurts another through drunk driving should be held fully accountable for their recklessness, and their victims should be fairly compensated through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. We also believe that any tavern or party host who serves a drunk driver should be held responsible.”

Instead of driving after drinking, Brett suggests that St. Patrick’s Day revelers:

  •     Designate a sober driver.
  •     Use mass transit or call a taxi, friend or family member to get them home safely.
  •     Take the keys away from anyone who is about to drive while impaired and find them another, safer way home.

“You might be saving a life,” Brett said.

About Brett & Coats

Brett & Coats, Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC is a Washington personal injury law firm with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham and Spokane. The firm represents car accident victims, including those injured in DUI/DWI accidents, and other personal injury victims throughout the state of Washington. For more information, call the firm at (800) 925-1875, use its online form or visit


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