April 8, 2011 in Letters, Opinion

Motorist protection neglected

 

The Washington state Legislature deserves an “F” this session for ignoring an opportunity to protect you and your families from repeat DUI offenders. One of the most important bills was not even allowed a public hearing, which would give prosecutors the ability to charge a person’s third DUI as a felony with actual prison time required, not just local jail. The current law requires four prior misdemeanor DUI convictions before the fifth can be charged as a felony, allowing habitual drunk drivers to kill more citizens each year.

Supposedly, it would cost Washington state too much money this year with declining revenues. Both the Legislature and Gov. Gregoire (who signed the current ineffective law in 2006) blatantly have ignored their basic duty – to protect the public!

All Spokane County residents should be outraged that their top law enforcement officers, Spokane Police Chief Kirkpatrick, Spokane County Sheriff Knezovich and Spokane County Prosecutor Tucker made no effort to publicly support this legislation or even travel to Olympia to demand a public hearing at least be held.

It’s time to elect career prosecutors to the Legislature who actually care about protecting our citizens from repeat alcohol/drug-impaired drivers. We can do better.

Jim Reierson

Spokane


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