New Washington DUI Law Targets Repeat Offenders

As states throughout the nation devise tactics to reduce the prevalence of motorists who drive under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, the state of Washington has adopted a tougher stance on multiple DUI offenders. Last week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a recent bill into law that is designed to more closely monitor and more harshly punish drivers convicted of multiple DUIs.

Under the new law signed by Governor Inslee on Thursday morning in Tacoma, motorists who have been charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense within 10 years of a previous conviction will now face mandatory arrest and booking in jail. Additionally, the bill will require these same repeat offenders to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles within five days of being charged.

Ignition interlock devices are essentially breathalyzers attached to a vehicle's ignition. In order to start a vehicle, a driver must first blow into the IID, providing a breath sample that will be analyzed by the device. If a certain amount of alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. Drivers will also be required to blow into the IID periodically while the motor is on. As IIDs present additional and substantial costs to convicted individuals, many drivers face considerable financial struggles as a result of having an IID installed on their vehicle.

In addition to these tactics for targeting repeat DUI offenders, the bill calls for new pilot programs in three counties and two cities. The programs will focus on conducting daily alcohol monitoring on individuals convicted of two or more DUIs. While debate circulates over the effectiveness and costs of this provision of the law, the bill does set aside money to fund these pilot programs and to ensure that resources are available for prosecutors and local jurisdictions to prosecute, convict, and punish offenders more quickly.

It is interesting to note that although harsher punishment for multiple DUI offenders is now in place, the law signed by Governor Inslee is a scaled back version of plans that were initially proposed, specifically laws that increased minimum jail times. Whatever the particular case may be, these new initiatives show just how serious the state of Washington is becoming in the fight against DUIs. Multiple offenders – and even many first time DUI offenders – face numerous criminal and driver's license penalties in the wake of a conviction, all of which have the potential to negatively impact one's personal and financial well-being. If you or someone you know has recently been charged with driving under the influence, take the time to learn more about the charges and serious penalties you face by bringing your case to the attention of a seasoned Lynnwood DUI attorney at Dichter Law Office, PLLC. Contact our firm or call (866)620-9524 to discuss your case.

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