Rep. Goodman says Olympia is still tough on DUIs in recent interview

Rep. Roger Goodman the architect behind the most ambitious DUI laws ever seen in Washington State recently said despite a more curtailed version being passed, Olympia is still tough on DUIs. In case you missed out, last week the Washington State Legislature passed a watered down version of what Rep. Goodman and Governor Inslee wanted when it came to strengthening our DUI laws. Rep. Goodman recently conducted an interview on KIRO radio. Here are my impressions

First Dori Monson the DJ who conducted the interview really seemed to very anti-DUI. And it was almost like he wasn’t concerned about community safety as he was about throwing people in jail. Which I believe does nothing other than give people like him something to talk about. As I have stated before. 99% of my clients have no criminal history. They have never been in trouble before, they are good honest, hardworking people who simply made a mistake. To suggest these are the people that need to be thrown in jail is ridiculous. Remember if you have ever had a single drink and decided to drive you were placing yourself in jeopardy of being on the wrong end of a DUI arrest. Clearly this is something that Dori doesn’t understand.

Secondly when questioned about the watered down version of the bill Rep. Goodman pointed out the passed legislation is now tougher on repeat offenders. Which it is, and to be honest if any law was going to be tougher. Probably repeat offenders should have been targeted instead of first time offenders.

Thirdly Dori and Rep. Goodman quoted this statistic that said if a person gets arrested for a DUI then they have driven drunk over 80 times before. This came up when discussing why the 5th DUI is a felony on not the 4th. Dori made the comment that we are letting people drive drunk 320 times before they get a felony. I mean come on if he honestly believes that than I have some ocean front property to sell him in Salt Lake City, Utah. My hometown btw.

The other part of the interview I thought was condescending was when Dori played an interview he had with Rep. Goodman back when all this Tough on DUI legislation was being tossed around. He went through every item which wasn’t passed and kept saying that didn’t happen did it. First of all everything that didn’t pass wasn’t feasible in any manner. This current legislation is only going to run about $2 million a year. What was initially proposed would have cost $300 million. In a day and age where people can’t find work, cola increases are not being offered, people are losing their job due to budget cuts, and the word unpaid furlough is being more common in government jobs. Where in the hell was $300 million going to come from?

And lastly before I stopped listening Dori and Rep. Goodman were talking about locking up everyone in jail after a DUI arrest. Regardless if it’s your first one, or 5th one. Regardless of what your breath test was. Regardless if you even get convicted of it. You’re spending 1-3 nights in jail before you see a Judge. The problem with this is not everyone that gets arrested for DUI is guilty. For example under this proposal someone who gets stopped for DUI, refuses all the field tests, gets arrested for DUI, goes back to the police station and blows a 0.03. They will spend the night in jail because there were arrested in the first place. Give me a break!

About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI attorney in Seattle. He is rated as one of the Top Seattle DUI Attorneys by Avvo, and has been named a Rising Star in the field of DUI Defense by Seattle Met Magazine. An honor less than 2.5% of all Attorneys receive.