Governor Jay Inslee signed into law two bills sponsored by Senator Joe Fain that were aimed at repeat DUI offenders. Fain drafted the bills after he worked as a King County DUI prosecutor between the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, reports the Auburn Reporter.
The first bill provides a more expansive definition of the types of prior drunk driving offenses that may be considered by a judge during sentencing. This will allow a judge to have the ability to consider a much broader picture of the defendant's criminal past in determining the appropriate penalty. This bill also requires that all repeat DUI offenders appear before a judge before they can be released. Previously, there was a problem with many repeat DUI offenders simply being released upon payment of bail without ever having to appear before a judge.
The second bill that was passed provides stiffer penalties for repeat DUI offenders who violate ignition interlock requirements by either driving without one or otherwise circumventing the devices. In many of the high-profile and tragic drunk driving accidents involving repeat offenders, the defendant failed to comply with the ignition interlock requirements by simply ignoring the law. There is very little enforcement to ensure that individuals required to install an ignition interlock device actually do so. The new penalty may act as an incentive for individuals to install the device.
Contact a Seattle DUI Defense Attorney
Several new drunk driving laws that have been passed in recent years. These laws have increased the penalties that drunk driving suspects face and have targeted suspected repeat DUI offenders. Washington state is known to have some of the stiffest penalties for drivers accused of impaired driving.
If you have been accused of drunk driving in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland or greater King County area, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who will advocate for you. Don't fight your DUI case alone. Schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense by calling 425-284-2000 and learn how we can help you.