Washington State Legislators slow down on proposed DUI changes

A new article came about in the Seattle Times discussing how law makers are putting the brakes on some of the proposed changes to DUI laws that were offered by Governor Inslee and some other proponents. I have blogged about these proposals previously and they would have effectively made Washington State owner of the Nations Toughest DUI laws. With only a few days left in the legislation session these proposals may not have enough time to pass. So what is going on you ask?

In my opinion as a Seattle DUI Lawyer these proposals were hastily written and didn’t just focus on the perceived problem of repeat DUI offenders, but everyone who is charged with a DUI. Remember this all came about by the very two public and horrific accidents caused by repeat drunk drivers in the past two months. Some of this legislation which looked to be on it’s death bed was revived, and Governor Inslee and some others attempted to push it through by riding this wave of public outcry.

Thankfully as I wrote before cooler heads seem to prevail, and the bill is being revised yet again to focus more on repeat DUI offenders, and not the first offense cases. Many called the original bill too expensive and unworkable. So a more scaled back version is going to be unveiled and attempted to pass in the next week, which marks the end of the legislation session.

Currently the revised bill would do away with the 10 year alcohol ban which was initially proposed. Additionally the requirement that any driver arrested for a DUI must install an ignition interlock prior to getting the vehicle out of impound was done away with. The revised version calls for the ignition interlock requirement to be imposed only if an individual has a prior DUI arrest. And instead of immediately, there is a 10 day window after the arrest where they would have to get the device installed.

The legislation session ends this Sunday and some legislators have stated they do not want to push a bill through that is only 5 days old. I couldn’t agree more. Imagine if this original bill would have passed as it was originally written. It would have been horrible. Especially for those individuals who have never been in trouble before, and there were arrested for a DUI (regardless of what their alcohol level was). So the million dollar question becomes will this bill pass in the next 4-5 days. I would have to say no. Not with the amount of work that goes into a bill, and the number of votes need to pass it. But you never know. I guess all us Seattle DUI lawyers will wait and see on Monday.

About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle, WA. His practice focuses on representing those accused of DUI and other traffic offenses. He is currently rated as a Top DUI Lawyer in Seattle by Avvo website, and rated as Rising Star by both Super Lawyers Magazine, and the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. An honor less than 2.5% of all Attorneys receive.