The major overhaul of Washington DUI laws following two recent fatal drunk driving crashes that was slated to be on the "fast track" to approval may not pass as smoothly as initially hoped by proponents of the bill, reports The Seattle Times.
On Wednesday, the state House Public Safety Committee delayed a scheduled vote on the proposed law that was already a scaled-back version of the original bill that would have introduced several novel measures like automatic installation of ignition interlock devices to cars before they even leave the impound lot, special driver's licenses for those convicted of a DUI, and even a possible ten-year ban for some DUI convicts from buying alcohol.
The delay in the vote could mean that the proposed law would have to be clawed back even more. Or it may just be a minor road bump to the law backed by Governor Inslee and members from both political parties.
The massive overhaul of the state DUI law started running into trouble when critics like civil rights organizations questioned whether the law went too far and violated individual rights. Surprisingly, law enforcement lobbyists also opposed certain parts of the proposed law citing that it would be too difficult (and expensive) to enforce.
Some of the concessions already made to the bill include:
- Instead of all DUI offenders having their cars outfitted with the ignition interlock device before being returned, this provision would only apply to repeat DUI offenders.
- Mandatory jail sentences for convicts will increase, but not as much as originally hoped by the authors of the bill.
- The ban on buying alcohol for ten years for those with three or more DUIs on their record will be dropped.
There are only a few more days left in the legislative season. As a result, Washington DUI laws are very much in a state of flux.
If you face drunk driving charges in the Seattle or King County areas, you should contact a DUI defense attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense. Our experienced attorneys can help explain the charges you face and the possible penalties. Contact us at 425-284-2000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.