Last year, we saw the passage of tough new DUI laws in Washington State. Only a few weeks into 2014, it looks like even tougher laws could be on the horizon.
If the Legislature can find a way to address the economic costs, drunk drivers convicted of their fourth DUI or more could face felony charges and significant prison time, reports The Spokesman-Review. The Legislature has already debated funding this proposal with new taxes collected on the sale of alcohol and legalized marijuana.
Under the proposed law, an individual would face a felony charge if convicted of a DUI for a fourth time in ten years. Proponents of the bill spoke before the Senate Law and Justice Committee and stated how the law could save lives and help stop the well-publicized problem of repeat DUI offenders.
Currently known as Senate Bill 6090, all members of the Senate committee are expected to support the bill. However, the difficult battle will be balancing the budget and figuring out where the money will come from to handle the increased strain on the prison system. This same problem of economics significantly watered down the proposed bill last year.
SB 6090 is still in its early stages. It could take many months before the bill appears before the Governor (if ever). In addition, the proposed law will likely be significantly edited. However, readers should be aware that there is a push to further strengthen Washington DUI laws. As a result, if you have been charged with a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas, you will want to talk to an attorney to learn about the charges and penalties that you face.
Talk to an experienced attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense by calling 425-284-2000.