Monday, October 1, 2007

Blood-alcohol tests sought as evidence in Hague DUI case

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

A special prosecutor has asked that blood-alcohol readings recorded by King County Councilmember Jane Hague after her June DUI arrest be readmitted as evidence.

The issue is likely to be considered at a pretrial hearing scheduled Monday afternoon in King County District Court in Redmond.

The special deputy prosecuting attorney, Lynn Moberly, argued in a motion filed last week that an order suppressing the breath samples was improperly granted.

Hague, R-Bellevue, is running for re-election. Her campaign has been troubled by the DUI arrest, a claim in a 1993 candidate's biography claiming a college degree she didn't have and by campaign-finance violations.

The state Public Disclosure Commission voted Thursday to accept an $8,000 fine from Hague to settle a complaint of campaign-finance violations.

As part of the settlement agreement, Hague admitted her campaign missed filing deadlines, accepted eight contributions over the $700 limit per election, failed to adequately disclose information about many donors and committed several other offenses.

Most of the violations occurred during Hague's 2007 re-election campaign.

The PDC action settled complaints brought by Hague's Democratic challenger, attorney Richard Pope.

In the DUI case, Moberly described how oral arguments were made to suppress the blood-alcohol results at Hague's July 30 arraignment, Moberly wrote in the motion.

Judge Peter Nault "signed an order suppressing the blood-alcohol readings on the grounds that the implied-consent warnings were confusing," Moberly wrote.

Moberly argued that Hague, who was charged under the name of Jane Hague Springman, was given an implied-consent warning the night of her arrest, and that she verbally acknowledged the warning and signed a document verifying that she had been warned about the implications of taking the blood-alcohol tests.

Moberly contended several errors were made in allowing the breath-test results to be kept out of court proceedings, including that state law requires a written affidavit from Hague's attorney be filed to support such a decision. The affidavit was not filed, Moberly wrote.

Hague was stopped by a King County deputy June 2 along Highway 520 after he saw her car swerving. She was later administered a breath test by a state trooper at the Clyde Hill police station.

According to the results, Hague provided two samples that resulted in readings of 0.135 and 0.141 percent, higher than the state level of intoxication of 0.08 percent. She was charged with driving under the influence July 16 and has pleaded not guilty.

Moberly was named a special deputy prosecuting attorney in the case Aug. 28 because of possible conflicts of interest involving the King County Prosecutor's Office.

Moberly also asked for a new judge, replacing Nault, although Moberly gave no reason for the request other than to say she didn't believe Nault would be fair and impartial.

The motion for a new judge was denied at a Tuesday hearing, according to court records. No trial date has been set.

Neither Moberly nor Doug Cowan, Hague's attorney, was available for comment.

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259

Seattle Times staff reporter Jim Brunner contributed to this story.

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