Last week, a Senate committee approved Washington's new tougher drunk driving laws. This week, a House committee also approved the new measure, pushing the bill that much closer to becoming law, reports MyNorthwest.
The House Public Safety Committee approved a version of the bill that would strengthen many aspects of DUI law including increasing jail time and mandatory minimum sentences as well as making it a felony at someone's fourth DUI conviction in ten years. The proposed law would also require that ignition interlock devices be installed on a vehicle following an arrest as opposed to following a conviction, if individuals have a prior DUI on their record.
The bill will now go before the House Appropriations Committee. This committee will deal with the difficult financial impact of the bill. As we've written about before, the bill could strain the financial situation for the state as more people could be locked up and law enforcement personnel will have to enforce the stricter laws.
Supporters of the bill hope that the federal government will provide grants to help support the goals of the bill. In addition, private insurance companies may be counted on to contribute as well. With fewer drunk drivers on the road, the argument being that insurance companies also stand to financially benefit.
State Representative Roger Goodman, one of the chief supporters of the bill, stated that he is confident that the bill will be approved by the end of the special session.
With possible changes to DUI laws looming, DUI defendants in the Seattle area will need the assistance of experienced attorneys on their side. The DUI attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense have stayed on top of all the proposed changes to Washington DUI law and we are fully prepared to advocate for your rights regardless of changes to the law.
Contact us at 425-284-2000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.