As we've written about before, Governor Jay Inslee and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a significant overhaul to Washington DUI laws.
This overhaul would include changes like increased prison sentences and even a possible ten-year ban on repeat drunk drivers from purchasing alcohol.
While these changes could deter drunk drivers in theory, lobbyists for the police and prosecutors question just how feasible these measures are, reports The Seattle Times. In fact, they indicated that they would seek to scale back some of the toughest provisions in the proposed bill.
One area of the proposed bill that the lobbyists attack is the requirement that vehicles be automatically installed with ignition interlock devices before they are returned to those arrested for drunk driving. Currently, drivers are responsible for installing the devices on their own with relatively little oversight to ensure that they actually do so.
The lobbyists for law enforcement say that this provision may be unworkable given the financial realities of the state. They say that the bill could cost up to $45 million dollars for cities and counties and that this money may come out of enforcement of other crimes.
Showing a willingness to work with critics of the bill, State Representative Roger Goodman of Kirkland indicated that the lawmakers who crafted the bill may eventually scale back the automatic interlock installation provision to only apply to those who have had a prior DUI arrest on their record.
The proposed DUI laws have seemingly been on the fast track to approval given the Governor's support, bipartisan backing, and the recent tragedies which thrust DUI law into the forefront. However, financial realities and questions of enforcement persist and we may see the law substantially altered before it passes.
In the meantime, those arrested for a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas should work closely with an experienced DUI defense attorney. The laws are currently in flux and public sentiment is against DUI defendants.
To ensure that all of your interests are protected following a DUI arrest, contact the attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense. We are experienced and recognized leaders in the field of DUI defense with outstanding client reviews. Contact an attorney directly at 425-284-2000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.