Washington has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation, and new regulations continue to make things more difficult for DUI suspects. Case in point: Washington's mandatory DUI impound law. The law took effect last July, and since that time, more than 500 vehicles have been impounded as a result of suspected impaired driving.
The law places a mandatory 12-hour hold on vehicles driven by DUI suspects. The purpose of the law is to ensure that drunk drivers have ample time to sober up before getting back behind the wheel. It makes no difference whether or not the suspect is found guilty. A simple booking is enough to warrant an impounding.
“This is about making sure that impaired drivers don’t return to their cars and drive again before they’ve sobered up,” State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste said when the law took effect. “This isn’t about trying to punish someone for driving drunk. If they’re found guilty, that will become the court’s job.”
Washington State troopers report that since the law took effect, more than 99 percent of DUI arrests in the Tri-Cities have led to impoundment. In other words, if you get booked for DUI in Washington, you are all but certain to have your vehicle impounded.
And while the law demands a 12-hour hold, many vehicles are actually being held for much longer than that. KIMA TV reports that many drivers are booked with existing criminal warrants. If your vehicle is impounded because you receive a DUI arrest, you are responsible for paying the fee to remove your vehicle from the tow yard.
Always be responsible and vigilant when behind the wheel. The Washington State Patrol has partnered with Target Zero, the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which strives for zero annual traffic fatalities by the year 2030. As a result, the State Patrol has become more aggressive than ever in pursuing anyone who they suspect may be under the influence.
If you have been charged with DUI, you have enough to worry about. A conviction can carry exorbitant fines, license suspension, mandatory ignition interlock, alcohol education classes and even jail time. You need a Seattle DUI attorney who understands the laws and can give you the defense you deserve. If you're facing a DUI charge, don't fight the battle alone. Contact Wolff Defense today.