Unfortunately every year there are fatal car accidents caused by drunk drivers. However, this year has been different, Washington State lawmakers filed over a thousand pages of new driving under the influence (DUI) legislation within the months of March through June.
This mad rush of lawmaking was the aftermath of two tragic DUI related cases in the Seattle area. Governor Inslee, lawmakers, and the “public” have been demanding tougher laws against drunk drivers ever since.
Many of the ideas proposed in early drafts had a lot of public and lawmaker support but were completely unrealistic as actual policies. A popular proposal was to require special licenses or ID cards for people with DUI history to prohibit their purchase of alcohol. This proposal appeared quite ineffective considering current Washington State law allows the use of various forms of identification for the purchase of alcohol, including passports and military ID’s.
Another popular proposal that went nowhere was the requirement for all drivers arrested for DUI to have an ignition interlock device installed in his/her vehicle while contained at the impound lot. The vehicle would remain impounded until the ignition interlock devices was installed properly. This proposal quickly didn’t pass because of testimony provided by representatives from ignition interlock companies that it was not feasible to install devices off site.
The two mentioned proposals did not pass into law this session. However, new DUI law, Engrossed Second Substitute Bill 5912, passed and will become effective September 28, 2013.
As a result of 5912 there will be additional mandatory jail time for a DUI driver who had a child passenger. A court sentencing under the new DUI law must consider whether or not a driver had a passenger under the age of 16 years in the vehicle at the time of the incident and impose additional jail time if they did. For a DUI driver with no DUI history, this additional mandatory jail is 24 hours. For a DUI driver with prior DUI history the additional mandatory jail is five days (one prior DUI) and ten days (two or more prior DUI offenses).
Also, 5912 impacts drivers with DUI history at the time of arrest and during pre-trial conditions of release. During a DUI arrest, if the officer has knowledge of the individual having a prior DUI offense within 10 years, 5912 requires that driver to be booked into jail and held until released by a judge. Any judge setting pretrial conditions of release for a person with a prior DUI is required by 5912 to impose an installation of an ignition interlock device. The law does not allow for removal of the device until acquittal or dismissal of the DUI charge.
Driving under the influence laws are ever-changing. If you or anyone you know is accused with DUI call David O Defense Criminal and DUI Litigation to schedule a free consultation.