New Bill Proposes Tougher DUI Laws in Washington

Bipartisan lawmakers are looking to strengthen DUI laws all across Washington. This past January, a group of lawmakers presented House Bill 1279 to the House Committee on Public Safety. Among its provisions, the bill aims to bolster ignition interlock device (IID) requirements and expand open container laws to include marijuana.

Representative Roger Goodman, known for his sponsorship of prior DUI reform, spoke in support of the new bill to Q13 Fox, particularly for the new IID requirements. "I think the key for the ignition interlock program is to make sure these devices are in the cars of known drunk drivers, and there are a few gaps that we are filling in this bill," Goodman told FOX.

Specifically, the proposed bill calls for the following:

  • Written affidavits of non-driving by IID restricted drivers
  • Notification to Department of Licensing when a driver is required to use an IID
  • Infraction legislation to punish drivers when open containers of marijuana are found during a traffic stop

The new legislation was not met with rousing support when it was presented to the committee in January. FOX reports that while The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is likely to support furthering existing IID laws, spokesman Doug Honig is quoted saying there were other issues identified in the bill. It was recommended that lawmakers "rework" several parts of the legislation before it was considered again by the House Committee on Public Safety.

Rise in IID Laws Nationwide

While marijuana DUI issues continue to be a tricky topic for lawmakers to address, IID laws are becoming stronger all over the U.S. More and more states are reporting a significant decrease in repeat DUI offenses after requiring the installation of IID devices for more of their DUI offenders.

A 2013 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that more than 20 years of IID research has shown that the devices reduce repeat DUI offenses 50% to 90%, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that IIDs be used for first time offenders since 2011. It may only be a matter of time before these devices are a mandatory part of DUI penalties all over the country.

Choose Experienced Defense for Your DUI

If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in Snohomish or King County, enlist the counsel of a skilled Lynnwood DUI defense attorney right away. Dichter Law Office, PLLC focuses solely on defending clients against drunk driving charges in Washington. I have over a decade of legal experience and have been selected for the list of Super Lawyers® Rising Starsâ„ . My knowledge, insight, and continued training in the defense of Washington DUI charges has enabled me to achieve reductions or dismissals for roughly 90% of all my clients.

You do not have to face this troubling time alone. Call Dichter Law Office, PLLC to schedule a free initial case evaluation so that we can go over your case together and strategize the best possible steps to putting these charges behind you.

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