New bills toughen DUI penalties, create sobriety program

Those repeatedly arrested for drunken driving could face longer sentences and more difficulty getting behind the wheel under legislation introduced today.

Gov. Jay Inslee teamed with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in crafting an 80-page bill which is set for hearings in House and Senate committees Thursday.

The governor will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. today to discuss House Bill 2030 and Senate Bill 5912. The bills are identical. You can read the version introduced in the House here.

Under the bills, repeat offenders could face more time behind bars as courts could not defer sentences. Also, if their car is impounded at the time of their arrest they may need to get an ignition interlock device installed before they can get it back.

The bills also spell out punishment for those arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana.

A major component of the legislation is the creation of a new statewide program to combat alcohol and substance abuse. It is to be called the 24/7 sobriety program and would be administered by the Office of the Attorney General.

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