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New Washington State DUI Laws

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Apr 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

Washington State DUI laws will be changing once again on August 1, 2012. In addition to the fee increase for the DOL Hearing Request, there are several other changes that become effective that date. All of the following changes have been signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire March 29th, 2012 in Second Substitute House Bill 2443 (copy of bill) and become effective August 1:

15:1 EHM TO JAIL CONVERSION: Allows courts to convert mandatory EHM (electronic home mornitoring) to straight jail for DUI convictions. Currently, a person may convert one day of jail to 15 days of EHM. In a few months, a driver convicted DUI who has to serve a lengthy amount of EHM authorizes a judge to convert EHM to additional jail at a ratio of 15 days of EHM to one additional day of jail (RCW 46.61.5055).

REQUIRED APPLICATION OF IIL FOR DUI CONVITION ELIMINATED: Courts are no longer required to order a person to apply for an igntiion interlock license if convicted for a DUI. The judge must order the driver to abide by all DOL conditions, but no longer must the apply for the IIL (RCW 46.61.5055).

RECKLESS DRIVING LICENSE SUSPENSION: People who are convicted of Reckless Driving and who previously served an administrative suspension may now get a day for day credit of the 30 day Reckless Driving conviction. Currently, if a person were to serve an administrative suspension or revocation, and then months later was able to resolve the DUI charge with a conviction for Reckless Driving, the driver would endure another 30 day suspension where the only way they could drive during that period would be with an occupational restricted license (ORL). That goes away on August 1. (RCW 46.20.720)

THE REQUIREMENT FOR BOTH AN IIL AND ORL IS ELIMINATED: As the law currently stands, if a person is required to have an IIL for an administrative suspension, and then has their license suspended for 30 days for a Reckless Driving change, they would have to have both an IIL AND ORL. It will change in August so the driver will only need the IIL (RCW 46.20.720)

THE MONTHLY COST OF AN INTERLOCK: Will increase an additional $20 a month for money to support the IID revolving fund for indigent people. (RCW 46.20.720)

IIL ELIGIBILITY FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT WASHINGTON LICENSE: On August 1, a driver who is otherise eligible for an ignition interlock license (IIL) but does not have a Washington drvier's license will now be allowed to apply for for an IIL (RCW 46.20.385).

INTERLOCK LICENSE EMPLOYER WAIVER: The employer waiver for a driver with an IIL (for people who driver a car registered to their employer and is driven for work-related purposes) will be limited by excluding vehicles driven exclusively the driver and exclusively for commuting (RCW 46.20.720)

INELGIBILITY TO VACATE A WASHINGTON DUI CONVICTION: Felony DUI and Physical Control convictions will be ineligible to vacate (RCW 9.94A.640). Furthermore, a prior DUI conviction under RCW 46.61.5055 cannot be vacated if the person has a subsequent alcohol/drug violation within 10 years of arrest

CAMERAS WITH INTERLOCKS: The law will now allow the WSP to require interlock installers to use cameras for facial recognition of the driver who is blowing into the device (RCW 43.43.395).

INCREASED OVERSIGHT AND PENALTIES FOR DUI's WHERE A CHILD IS IN VEHICLE: It will soon be a requirement for law enforcement to document when a driver arrested for DUI or Physical Control and a child passenger in the vehicle. CPS must be notified if a child is present in vehicle driven by sibling or half sibling who is arrested for an alcohol related offense. The definition of child is increased from 13 to 16 years of age. Penalties for a Washington DUI with children in the vehicle increase with more fines and an additional 6 months of the interlock device (RCW 46.61.507, 46.61.5055 and 9.94A.533).

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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