Political party membership is not stopping lawmakers from working together to propose new DUI laws.
One bipartisan group including one Democrat and one Republican have joined Governor Jay Inslee in crafting DUI reform that would aim to reduce DUI-related fatalities, reports the Seattle Weekly. This effort comes on the eve of several high-profile drunk driving fatalities that made headlines.
While bipartisan support to stop something like DUI deaths may normally be considered a good thing, some civil rights groups are afraid that lawmakers may be taking things too far given the recent tragedies.
Some of the changes to DUI law reportedly posed by the lawmakers include:
- Making DUI a felony on the third or fourth conviction instead of the fifth
- Extending the time that individuals have to use ignition interlock devices
- Installing ignition interlock devices on all cars impounded for a suspected DUI
- Having mandatory jail time for DUI suspects
- Requiring arrest of anyone suspected of a DUI
- Allowing the use of sobriety checkpoints
Criticism of the Proposed Law
Not everyone is happy with the proposed DUI laws. Specifically, the ACLU has attacked the proposed measures.
The group has questioned the provisions regarding the mandatory arrests of DUI suspects and criticized lawmakers for not making more effort to treat and rehabilitate drunk drivers as opposed to merely punishing them.
The group's position is that Washington already has stern enough DUI laws to dissuade reasonable people from drunk driving. As a result, the state needs to focus on the small group of irrational people who will drunk drive regardless and treat them.
The ACLU says that the proposed bill would merely be throwing money at something that is not the root of the DUI problem.
Contact a Seattle DUI Attorney
Washington DUI laws could experience turmoil this year. To stay up to date on all the laws and to understand the charges and penalties you face, you will want to work with an experienced DUI attorney.
If you are arrested for a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas, contact the attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense. Call us at 425-284-2000 to schedule a consultation.