There are some things that are constant in Washington: the sun will rise every morning, rain will fall frequently, and lawmakers in Olympia will try to toughen up statutes pertaining to impaired driving.
Even though DUI-targeted legislation was passed less than , Olympia is at it again - this time with a bill to reduce the number of DUI offenses it takes to become a felony. A similar measure was proposed last year, but did not get signed into law.
However, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill which would make the fourth conviction for driving under the influence within a ten-year period a felony. Under current law, the fifth such offense is classified as a felony. The bill, for which was held in January, for consideration.
It's unclear how many Washington drivers have been convicted of four DUIs versus five or more offenses. So one might wonder how effective this new law will actually be.
The truth is, the politicians who support it really support their election stump speaches more than the truth of such legislation. They know that enacting such legislation is politically popular - which is why they repeatedly introduce measures to strengthen DUI laws and penalties. Whether the law actually perform their intended function - or spawn unintended consequences - is irrelevant.
This is all the more reason why it's important to have a qualified DUI defense attorney in your corner whenever you are accused of driving under the influence. Because the DUI laws on the books are not there to protect the rights of those accused of these offenses.