Washington state lawmakers are revisiting an idea to make a driver's fourth drunken-driving conviction within 10 years a felony.
current Washington law, a felony DUI charge applies only if a driver
already has been convicted of DUI four times in the previous decade.
That's the highest threshold among the 45 states that have laws to make
repeat DUI offenders felons, said the bill's author, Sen. Mike Padden,
Padden first proposed the idea last year but
said that bill failed because of concerns over the expense of
imprisoning more drunken drivers for felony convictions. He said
Wednesday he believes this year's bill has a better chance because a
handful of Senate Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors. The measure
also has support from Padden's Republican colleagues.
said several victims of car crashes caused by repeat DUI offenders are
scheduled to speak at a public hearing Thursday. Senate Bill 5105 will
be before the Senate Law and Justice Committee, of which Padden is the
Capitol lawmakers have contemplated lowering
Washington's threshold for felony DUI from the fifth offense to the
fourth offense since 2013, upon the recommendation of a work group
created by Gov. Jay Inslee to toughen impaired-driving laws after a
series of fatal wrecks.
Padden said he hopes the cost obstacle
can be overcome this year to bring Washington's DUI law closer to those
in neighboring states. Both Oregon and Idaho have laws to make a
driver's third DUI within a decade a felony.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer
is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes
mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum –
reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal
with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited
for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer
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.