Last week, Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law which mandates stiffer penalties for people who are charged with a second DUI offense. These people will be arrested and booked into jail, charged within three days of booking, and forced to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle within five days of being charged. These provisions will officially go into effect on September 28 of this year. Keep in mind: all of these consequences will befall DUI suspects before they are convicted of the second charge.
On January 1 of next year, the law will permit the state to begin a pilot program in five different municipalities. This program will call for 24-hour electronic monitoring of anyone who is convicted of a second DUI offense.
And that's not all: during the signing ceremony, Inslee stated that he will attempt to strengthen anti-DUI laws even more next year. The bill that passed both state legislative chambers did not include several proposed measures, including lowering the number of DUI convictions within a ten-year period needed to qualify for a felony charge (from 5 to 4), requiring 10 more mandatory days of incarceration for a second DUI offense, and banning alcohol purchases for ten years for people with three DUI convictions.
To their credit, state lawmakers did not choose to dramatically alter the process by which a person is tested for or charged with a DUI offense. But the penalties after a second DUI charge set a disturbing precedent in the state of Washington.
The question for those putting so much energy into new DUI laws is, how did they celebrate with their legislative team? Lemonade?