Flickr user Davidsonscott15/Creative Commons
Anthony J. Law isn't new to this DUI thing. He's been through it before - a number of times, actually. So when Law was pulled over Saturday morning on Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, at least he knew what to expect.
Flickr user Davidsonscott15/Creative Commons
And if prosecutors in Pierce County have their way, that total will be growing.
Authorities say at approximately 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning a Washington State Trooper on routine patrol witnessed Law driving a green pickup truck towing a boat and driving erratically. Charging documents, citing the Trooper's report, note that the pickup "started to weave, steer and jerk very bad, crossing the right skip line two more times, once by 2-3 tire widths. The right turn signal came on, the pickup drifted left across the lane, the (sic) onto the left skip line, all the while the boat trailer was swinging back and forth."
As you'd expect, after witnessing Law's weaving ways, the Washington State Trooper decided to activate the emergency lights and pull the truck over - a maneuver Law performed without the use of a turn signal.
According to charging documents:
Upon contacting the driver at the passenger door Trooper Pigott was met with the overwhelming odor of intoxicating beverages coming from inside the pickup. The driver was identified with his Washington State ID card as the defendant; "his eyes were bloodshot and watery, his eyelids were droopy, his speech was slurred, he lit a cigarette, and the floorboard was littered with empty beer cans." The two passengers in the pickup also immediately lit cigarettes and began puffing on them.
After encountering this damning scene, charging documents indicate that Trooper Pigott asked Law whether he'd had anything to drink that morning, or the night prior. Despite the mounting evidence to the contrary described by authorities, Law replied that he hadn't been drinking. Trooper Pigott then asked Law to step out of the vehicle, noticing that Law moved in a "slow and lethargic manner and he swayed while standing," according to charging documents.
Pigott subsequently placed Law under arrest without performing field sobriety tests - having apparently seen enough.
Trooper Pigott then returned to the green pickup truck to speak with its passengers. One of the passengers, identified in charging documents as Cheryl Miranda, reported that Law had - in fact - been drinking all night and that she "feared for her safety and the safety of other vehicles on the road around them."
Meanwhile, a records check on Law revealed his four prior DUI-related run-ins, and also the fact he's required by law to have an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle ... something the green pickup truck lacked.
It wasn't long until Law was being transported to the Washington State Patrol office for DUI processing, where - shockingly enough - prosecutors say he wasn't terribly cooperative with authorities. Charging documents indicate that after 15 minutes of conversation Law requested an attorney, stopped answering questions, and refused a breathalyzer test.
Authorities countered by obtaining a telephonic warrant for a blood draw and transporting Law to St. Claire Hospital, where two vials of blood were collected from him. The blood was sent to the Washington State Toxicology Lab for testing, with results pending.
Because Law has more than four DUI-related offenses on his record, his most recent alleged offense will be prosecuted as a felony - meaning he could be heading to prison. Officially, Law faces charges of felony driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, and driving without an ignition interlock system - all stemming from his Saturday morning arrest near Lakewood.
Law pleaded not-guilty to the latest charges against him in Pierce County court yesterday.
While it's easy to condemn Law for his history of drunk driving and his most recent DUI run-in, he's got a long way to go if he hopes to set records. As the Seattle Times noted last year, Dwight David Benson has racked up 18 reckless- and alcohol-related convictions since 1984, in addition to more than a dozen additional convictions for driving on a suspended or invalid license. At the time the story was written Seattle Assistant City Attorney Lorna Staten Sylvester was quoted as saying Benson had the most DUI convictions she had ever seen.
Find charging documents filed against Anthony J. Law on the next page ...