Buzz is in the air about Washington State DUI laws being ineffective in reducing the number of repeat DUI offenders. This recent DUI law concern stems from the tragic DUI homicide that occurred last week in North Seattle, when Mark W. Mullan, who was driving drunk with a blood alcohol level 3 times the legal limit, hit and killed 2 grandparents and critically injured the daughter-in-law and her new baby. Mullan, a five time DUI repeat offender, revealed weaknesses within DUI multiple offender laws by ignoring court ordered installation of an ignition interlock device in his pickup truck and continued driving despite his license revocation. Lawmakers and citizens are demanding stricter repeat DUI offender laws and tighter monitoring of DUI penalty compliance, to continue to reduce the number of DUI related homicides and DUI related accidents.
Solutions that are currently being tossed around include; making a DUI a felony count on the third conviction rather than the fifth conviction, increasing the length of jail time for repeat DUI offenders, use of police sobriety check points for all drivers to be assessed for DUI, requiring a boot on a car until an ignition interlock device has been properly installed, and possible development in technology to equip vehicles to sense driver intoxication and disengage driving capabilities.
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Washington State is known for having some of the toughest DUI penalties in the nation. These DUI penalties are harsh to prevent repeat drunk driving. Penalties for a first time DUI offender are dictated by the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) reading taken at the police station, consequences are worse for a BAC result more than .15 or a refusal to blow, than compared to consequences for a BAC result less than .15.
If the BAC result is less than .15; than an individual found guilty of DUI would be facing 1-364 days in jail or 15 days of EHM (Electric Home Monitoring). Fines range from $941.00 to $5,000.00. Their Washington State driver’s license would be suspended for 90 days, and an ignition interlock device would be required in any car they drive.
If the BAC result is more than .15 or refused; than an individual found guilty of DUI would be facing 2-364 days in jail or 30 days of EHM. Fines range from $1,196.00 to $5,000.00. Their Washington State driver’s license would be revoked for 1 year if their BAC result was more than .15 or if the individual refused the BAC reading than their driver’s license would be revoked for 2 years.
In addition to jail time, fines, and license suspensions, any first time DUI offender would have to get an alcohol evaluaion and complete the recommended DUI treatment programs. The judge may also order community service hours or work crew.
Contact the defense lawyers at David O Defense if you have been charged with a DUI. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case. Phone number 206-459-6392.