Law

DUI Program
5:01 am
Tue December 31, 2013

New Year Brings Sobriety Testing For Repeat Drunk Drivers

File image
LM Otero AP Photo

Repeat drunk drivers in Washington who get arrested in the new year may find themselves ordered to blow into a breathalyzer twice a day. Starting Jan. 1, three counties and two small cities will begin piloting a 24/7 sobriety program modeled after one in South Dakota.

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Law
5:01 am
Fri December 27, 2013

New Wash. Laws: Rioting Gets Name Change, Seahawks Fandom Licensed

November 1999 photo of WTO protests in Seattle.
Isabel Esterman Flickr

 

After Jan. 1, rioting will still be a crime in Washington, but it will get a new name. And Seahawks fans will have a new way to show their loyalty to the team.

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Law
4:49 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

After 10 Years in Jail On A Wrongful Conviction, Seattle Man Is Free

IPNW attorney Fernanda Torres with Brandon Olebar (center) and wife Mely (right)
IPNW

After spending more than 10 years in prison on a wrongful conviction, Brandon Olebar of Seattle is home in time for Christmas.

Olebar had been convicted of robbery and burglary in 2003. The conviction was based on an ID by the victim, his sister's boyfriend, two days after the crime. 

But that identification turned out to be a case of "memory transference."

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Medical Marijuana
1:34 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Liquor Control Board Recommends Limit Of 6 Plants Per Medical Pot Patient

AP Photo

Washington state is looking at a major overhaul of its medical marijuana system, to avoid competition with the recreational market and to avert any crackdowns from the federal government.

The state's Liquor Control Board on Wednesday approved its final recommendations to the Legislature about how it believes the largely unregulated medical system can be brought under the umbrella of Initiative 502.

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Law
5:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Products Complicate Enforcement Of State Smoking Ban

Gerry Broome AP Photo

Nearly a decade has passed since Washington state banned smoking in public areas and workplaces. 

But smoking has evolved since, and that leaves health officials with challenges as they try to enforce a law that didn’t foresee the rise of new products.

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Legal Marijuana
5:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Seed-To-Sale Tracking Alone Won’t Stop Marijuana 'Leakage'

As Washington moves to legalize recreational pot, the U.S. Department of Justice is prioritizing preventing so-called “leakage” to other states like Oregon and Idaho.

Barcodes will help the state track marijuana from seed to sale. But technology alone won’t keep Washington pot in Washington. And some think the concern about leakage is overblown.

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human rights
5:01 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Supporters Rally for Renton Woman Held in Mexican Prison

Grisela Rodriquez, daughter or Nestora Salgado, fights back tears as she speaks at the rally.
Paula Wissel KPLU

Human rights advocates rallied in front of the Mexican consulate in Seattle on Tuesday on behalf of a Renton woman being held in a Mexican prison.

Nestora Salgado, who was the commander of a community police force, was arrested in the Mexican state of Guerrero in August and charged with kidnapping. Her family in the Seattle area say the charges are trumped up in retaliation for her efforts to combat corruption in Mexico.

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gay rights
4:00 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

In Wake of Suit, BNSF to Offer Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

Eli Hall, center, looks on as his husband and BNSF engineer Michael Hall, left, talks to reporters, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

The nation's largest freight rail carriers have announced they will provide health benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees, one day after legally married, gay engineers filed a federal lawsuit in Seattle.

Gus Melonas, a spokesman for BNSF Railway Co., read the statement from the National Railway Labor Conference to The Associated Press on Wednesday. The conference represents the railroad companies in dealings with labor groups.

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civil rights
11:55 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Judge: Two Wash. Towns Failed Poor Defendants' Rights

A federal judge has ruled that two Washington cities have systematically violated the rights of poor defendants to have legal representation.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued Mount Vernon and Burlington two years ago, alleging that public defenders there were so overworked that they amounted to little more than "a warm body with a law degree."

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gay rights
5:04 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Two Same-Sex Couples Sue BNSF over Health Benefits

Michael and Eli Hall, right, hold their marriage license certificate, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 as they talk to reporters in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Listen to Paul Wissel discuss the story with Dave Meyer.
Listen to Paula Wissel's story.

Two workers are suing BNSF, one of the nation's largest rail companies, saying their same-sex spouses have repeatedly been denied health benefits even though gay marriage is legal in Washington state.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle states BNSF refused to add the spouses of locomotive engineer Michael Hall and conductor Amie Garrand to their plans.

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Law enforcement
4:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Are Former Peace Corps Volunteers Willing to Carry a Gun and a Badge?

A Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador.
Peace Corps

The King County sheriff wants to make his police force more culturally aware. So he’s come up with a plan that includes putting former Peace Corps volunteers on the payroll.

Sheriff John Urquhart says the force is “becoming more male and more white every single year," and that's a problem because the force should better reflect the increasingly diverse community.

"And that means we need all colors, we need all races, we need all genders, and we need LGBT, you name it,” Urquhart said.

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Marijuana DUI
10:40 am
Thu November 21, 2013

More Drivers Test Positive for Pot in Wash. State

Associated Press

New figures from the Washington State Patrol show that more drivers have tested positive for marijuana since the state legalized the drug last year.

In the first six months of 2013, the patrol's crime lab says, 745 people tested positive for marijuana. Typically there are about 1,000 positive pot tests on drivers in a full year.

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marijuana licenses
3:17 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Celebration, Angst as State Starts Accepting Pot License Applications

Jeff Gilmore, right, with partner Dave Brown have applied for a license to grow legal marijuana.
Austin Jenkins

The 30-day window for marijuana business licenses applications has opened in Washington. Would-be growers, processors and retailers applied online and in-person Monday.

At the Department of Revenue business licensing office, the flow of in-person applicants was more of a trickle, not a torrent on this historic day.

“This is absolutely amazing,” said Jeff Gilmore, who was among the first to apply for a license to grow legal pot after a career of growing illegally. “The state of Washington took two years of my life for growing marijuana two decades ago.”

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marijuana licenses
1:07 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

State Pot License Investigators to Look for 'Hidden Ownership'

Associated Press

Pot entrepreneurs in Washington can apply for a business license beginning Monday, Nov. 18. The state now has a team of 14 license investigators ready to vet the applicants.

Becky Smith with the Washington Liquor Control Board says investigators will be sleuthing for hidden owners and out-of-state financial backers, as well as other violations of the rules.

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changing times
5:01 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Lawyers Must Adapt to Changing Profession

Lawyers are finding themselves facing the same pressures recording artists and journalists have had to contend with: free content on the Internet. 

Technological changes and a DIY culture are also changing the legal profession in fundamental ways. And how to adapt has been a hot topic at law schools in Washington and at the Washington Bar Association.

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