A Washington State Senate Committee approved the bill that would toughen state DUI laws, reports the APreports the AP.
In the special legislative session this week, the Senate Law and Justice committee advanced SB 5912SB 5912. Some of the biggest proposed changes to Washington DUI laws include:
- Eliminate the 7 year window for a "prior offense" and now make any within a person's lifetime;
- Mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) to be installed within 10 days of arrest if a person has a prior offense;
- Elimination of deferred sentences for DUI convictions or reductions (reckless driving, negligent driving 1 degree);
- Lower from 5 to 4 prior DUI's to make it a felony;
- Disqualification of a commercial driver's license for any measurable amount of THC in a driver's blood;
- Increase mandatory minimums for people convicted of a second or third offense.
The DUI bill will now go before the Senate Ways and Means Committee so there are still several hoops that backers of the bill must jump through before the bill becomes law. The bill was unanimously backed at the Senate Law and Justice committee; however, some lawmakers still expressed concern regarding the economic impact of the bill.
A proposed amendment to the bill that would extend a temporary beer tax to help defray the costs was rejected by the Committee. So the Senate Ways and Means Committee will have to examine further the fiscal impact of the bill and if there are any alternatives that would relieve the economic burden of the bill.
The companion bill in the House is expected to be voted on as early as next week and Representative Roger Goodman, a chief sponsor of the bill, appears confident that some form of the bill will pass.
For current DUI defendants, you should know that these increased penalties and requirements are still at the proposal phase and are not yet law. These proposed changes, however, will have a significant impact on Washington drivers.
If you have any questions about a DUI arrest in the SeattleSeattleSeattle, BellevueBellevueBellevue, KirklandKirklandKirkland, RedmondRedmondRedmond, or other King CountyKing CountyKing County area areas, contact the dedicated DUI attorneys at Wolff Criminal DefenseWolff Criminal Defense directly to schedule a free consultation.