Lawmakers Seeking to expand felony DUI definition

Washington state lawmakers are again pursuing money for more DUI law changes.  In January a Senate committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 6090.  They are contemplating on making DUI a felony the fourth time it is committed, rather than on the fifth time it is committed. It’s the most high-profile of several bills recently introduced about driving under the influence in Washington state.  Of the 44 states with felony DUIs, Washington is the only one that waits until the fifth conviction for a felony to kick in.

The proposal is the most high-profile of a set of bills recently introduced on an issue that abruptly stole the Legislature’s focus last spring after a crash in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood killed a couple and critically injured their daughter-in-law and infant grandson.

Other DUI issues soon to be visited in future hearings relate to proposals to increase post-conviction supervision of repeat DUI offenders, expand communication efforts about alcohol-sensing and ignition-interlock requirements and to allow police to conduct blood-alcohol tests without a warrant if drivers consent.  Another future issue that will probably be discussed is a bill related to establishing random sobriety checkpoints.

Obviously, the real hold up to any additional changes to our DUI laws is funding.  Making a fourth DUI a felony will cause increased costs to the state because of the number of agencies that will be involved in overseeing the convicted felon.

Lest it be said, Washington state’s DUI laws are constantly getting tougher; the public’s outcry is causing a major crackdown on alcohol and/or drug fueled accidents. Now more than ever, hiring a Seattle DUI attorney can help – at a minimum – reduce DUI related penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI related charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Leave a reply