The mad(d) consequences of DUI

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is spearheading legislative changes to increase penalties for drunk drivers. Since its founding in 1980, MADD has continued to raise awareness about drunk driving and has pushed through legislation to penalize drunk drivers. Since the founding of MADD, drunk driving deaths have been reduced by approximately half. However, it is said that notwithstanding the progress approximately 28 people die every day in America as a result of drunk driving. Many drunk drivers involved in these crashes are repeat offenders. MADD has narrowed in on this statistic to prevent previously convicted drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. The organization believes that mandating the use of the ignition interlock device is the nation’s best plan of action to eliminate drunk driving. The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving launched in 2006 and has led 23 states, including Washington, to pass the all-offender interlock legislation.

Other legislation that the organization is urging involves the following: (1) Sobriety checkpoints: While sobriety check points may be one method of preventing drunk driving, defense lawyers believe checkpoints infringe on the liberty of drivers and may violate Constitutional search and seizure laws. (2) Ignition interlock devices: Ignition interlock devices for convicted DUI offenders are already required in the state of Washington. MADD is urging other states to adopt laws related to mandatory ignition interlock devices for, at a minimum, repeat offenders. (3) Stronger child endangerment laws: MADD is pushing Congress to increase penalties and strengthen laws surrounding DUI and child endangerment. (4) Repeat offender prevention laws: In addition to ignition-interlock device laws, the organization is urging Congress to pass nationwide repeat offender prevention laws, including harsh Zero Tolerance laws that could result in total loss of driving privileges.

As every Seattle DUI attorney knows, Washington State has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the nation. A DUI conviction can and will result in hefty fines, loss of privilege to drive and jail time. For repeat offenders, the consequences are severe. For individuals who have been arrested or charged with DUI, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of your rights and obligations. Thus, contacting a Seattle DUI lawyer is highly recommended. A seasoned Seattle DUI attorney will be aware of the ever changing state and federal legislation that could result in more severe fines and penalties associated with a DUI conviction. In short, arrested for DUI? Lawyer up.

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