Posts tagged: DUI
OLYMPIA — Like the Senate a day before, the House gave unanimous approval Thursday to tougher penalties for people who drive drunk or under the influence of drugs.
It requires anyone arrested on a second driving under the influence charge be taken to jail, spends more money to speed prosecutions and requires an interlock system be installed on the suspect's car within five days of release. It also sets up a test program for daily testing for alcohol and drugs, plus electronic monitoring of people convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses as an alternative to incarceration.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, passed the House 92-0 after a 46-0 vote in the Senate. Tougher DUI standards was one of the priorities Gov. Jay Inslee had set for the special session of the Legislature.
The proposal would require an automatic arrest for a second offense, and require ignition interlock devices on their vehicles before their cases go to trial. It would require a court appearance within 48 hours and set up a test program for repeat offenders have their sobriety monitored on a daily basis with electronic home monitoring rather than more expensive incarceration.
Sen. Mike Padden,
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Wells, D-Seattle, argued that judges should be given greater leeway with drivers convicted of impaired driving if they have a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana. Chemicals from marijuana remain in the blood stream longer than alcohol or many other drugs, and making patients give up their medical marijuana in order to drive was “totally unjust.”
But judges routinely order drunk drivers not to drive if they drink, Padden said, and marijuana should be treated the same way if a person is convicted of impaired driving. “Impaired means impaired,” he said.
OLYMPIA – Efforts to fast-track a crackdown on repeat drunk drivers, announced with bipartisan fanfare Tuesday, hit some go slow warnings Thursday from prosecutors, judges and cops.
They're raising so many questions that a key committee chairman all but acknowledged Thursday the Legislature might not have a final bill ready by the end of its regular session just nine days away.
“The bill has some significant flaws,” Rep. Roger Goodman, R-Kirkland, the chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, acknowledged during a hearing on House Bill 2030. “We’re not going to jam this bill through.”
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