New DUI legislation (HB1276) is going into effect on September 26, 2015. As usual, the government is ratcheting things down in our DUI arena, and continues to be tough on folks driving while impaired. That said, there are some benefits under the bill for those cited for DUI.
The bill extends eligibility for the ignition interlock license (under certain circumstances) to defendants convicted of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide. It also clarifies that the DOL can issue an Ignition interlock license to drivers with an out-of-state license, i.e. military members and their families living residing in Washington State due to their military service. The affirmative defense of ‘safely off the roadway’ (permitted in physical control cases) can now also be used in DOL administrative proceedings. Pursuant to HB1276 defense attorneys will be granted access to their client’s abstract of driving records, similar to what is already authorized to the courts and prosecutors. HB1276 requires that courts to notify DOL when an ignition interlock device is ordered as a condition of release while a criminal case is pending, and also requires the court to notify the DOL if the aforementioned order is rescinded. Judges will be required to order participation in 24/7 (or other alcohol monitoring) if a driver with history chooses to sign an affidavit of non-driving. Additionally, the Bill requires IID violation sentences to run consecutive to any sentence imposed for DUI or physical control. And finally, under HB1276, it will be illegal to have an open container of marijuana in a person’s vehicle.
If you are cited for DUI in Washington state it is smart to immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney, among other things, can quite possibly save a person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, extent of loss of privilege to drive and amount of jail time to be served. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for DUI in Washington State.