Legislature approves stricter rules for DUI offenders

OLYMPIA — Repeat violators of Washington’s impaired driving law will face stricter penalties and scrutiny under a bill approved Thursday by the Legislature.

The state House voted unanimously to finalize the measure, sending it to the governor’s desk. Among a range of new rules, the plan requires drivers charged with a second impaired driving offense to have an interlock device installed on their vehicles within five days of being charged, and the state would also begin a pilot program that would conduct daily alcohol monitoring on a person convicted twice under the DUI law.

“This bill is tough, with targeted criminal sanctions to hold drunk drivers accountable,” said Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland.

Legislators pressed ahead with changes to the DUI law this year after fatal accidents in the state angered the public and political leaders. In a March accident in Seattle, a suspected drunken driver crashed into a family crossing the street in a residential Seattle neighborhood. That accident critically injured a 10-day-old child and his mother and killed his grandparents.

As part of a final compromise, the measure is scaled back from an original proposal that would have increased mandatory minimum jail time for repeat DUI offenders. Adding that jail time would have been costly. Another idea initially proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee would have prohibited people from purchasing alcohol for 10 years after a third conviction on drunken driving.

Gov. Jay Inslee said the bill didn’t do everything the state needs to do.

“I look forward to continuing our efforts to crack down on those who choose to endanger the lives and livelihoods of others by choosing to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Inslee said.

Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, agreed with that sentiment. He said he hopes lawmakers will return next year to strengthen DUI laws even more.

“This bill doesn’t go as far as we hoped it would go,” Klippert said. “It doesn’t do everything we hoped it would do, but it takes a great step forward.”

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

State is close but still not compliant in school-funding case

Lawmakers must act during the next legislative session to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Dems say GOP tax plan doesn’t add up for everyone

Rep. Suzan DelBene’s amendments to restore deductions, which the bill does away with, were rejected.

Most Read