One might think that legislators were finished with altering DUI laws in the state. But that would be an incorrect conclusion.
Earlier this month, a group called the 2013 Washington Impaired Driving Work Group submitted a 152-page report outlining its suggestion for additional measures to be taken against those who consume alcohol and drive. The highest priority was boosting penalties for people refusing a breath test, followed by strengthening mandatory minimum penalties for repeat offenders (again) and making DUI a felony before its fifth offense like it is currently.
Perhaps the most surprising was the widespread support for implementing sobriety checkpoints, which would stop all motorists to check for signs of impaired driving even if they were never suspected of the offense.Experts say the state constitution would have to be changed in order to successfully introduce sobriety checkpoints onto Washington roads.
The group was made up of law enforcement, lawyers, lawmakers, safety advocates, ignition interlock manufactures, treatment providers, victims families and others. It's a non-binding report, but lawmakers are expected to take it under consideration before the next legislative session gets underway.
If there's a silver lining to the report, one even more draconian proposal - banning alcohol purchases by repeat DUI offenders for three years - received very little support.