Thursday, March 13, 2008

King County Councilmember Jane Hague gets 6 months probation for DUI charge

By Peyton Whitely
Seattle Times Eastside burea

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jane Hague was placed on six months of probation today for a driving-under-the-influence charge brought against her last summer, with the expectation that if she meets the conditions of the court continuance, the charge will be reduced to reckless driving.

Hague said she was pleased with the legal outcome of the charge filed after she was stopped while driving on Highway 520 on her way back to Bellevue from Seattle in June.

"I'm very happy to have this concluded," she said. "It's been a learning experience. I'm really sorry this did occur."

Hague said she now looks forward to working with law-enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations to warn against the dangers of drunken driving.

"I've learned a tremendous amount of humility," Hague added. "This is an opportunity to use my public position to a greater good."

The continuance of Hague's case was approved by King County District Court Judge Peter Nault in Redmond after he was presented with an agreed order negotiated by the defense and prosecution in the case.

Special Prosecutor Lynn Moberly, named to bring the charges to prevent possible conflicts of interest with the King County Prosecutor's Office, said the recommendation was arranged through extended negotiations.

Moberly said she had little choice but to agree to the probationary conditions because Hague had no previous criminal history and because Nault had earlier ruled that blood-alcohol readings taken at the time of the arrest couldn't be admitted as evidence during a trial.

Hague was arrested June 2 by a King County deputy sheriff just west of Interstate 405 after he reported seeing her car being driven erratically on Highway 520.

She was arrested and charged on July 16 with DUI after an investigation, with the filing made under her married name of Jane Hague Springman.

The case had gone through several continuances before the latest court session.

Under the new continuance, which Nault described as a "contract between you and the state," Hague will appear again before the court in about six months to face a sentence through the agreed disposition, with the DUI charge then to be reduced to reckless driving if she meets the conditions of the continuance.

The conditions include 75 hours of community service, installation of an ignition-interlock device,an alcohol-and-drug evaluation, alcohol-information school, attendance at a DUI victims' panel, three public-service announcements and no criminal violations.

If those terms are met, Moberly said she will recommend that Hague be sentenced to 365 days in jail, to be suspended; pay a $5,000 fine, with about $4,600 suspended, leaving a payment of about $900 for court costs and other penalties, and undergo a 30-day license suspension.

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or

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