Understanding Washington state new DUI law changes that will be going into effect on September 28th
There was a lot of news this past Legislative session in Washington about efforts to reconfigure Washington state DUI laws. What was initially touted as the most aggressive DUI crackdown in state history did not quite live up to that billing in the end. However, there were some significant changes that every resident and driver in Washington State should understand.
Senate Bill 5912 was signed into law by Governor Inslee on July 18, 2013 and goes into effect on September 28, 2013.
Mandatory Jail Booking
One major change included in Washington state new DUI law will be a mandatory arrest and jail booking for DUI offenders with a prior DUI incident within the past 10 years. Under current law, police have discretion to release a DUI offender after they are arrested and processed. Even though a person is “presumed innocent” until proven otherwise, the law will now require that certain innocent individuals be jailed pending posting of bail or a court order of release. If you have been in a crash be sure to call the car accident attorney Russell & Hill, PLLC to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Devices
After September 28th, any person accused of DUI who has a prior DUI incident in their history will be required to have a functioning Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicle within five days of release from jail. Current law only makes this an option that the court may consider imposing. When ordered, this device must be installed at the driver’s expense, and will be required even before the person is proven guilty or given an opportunity to review police reports or present evidence of innocence. As an alternative, the person can participate in a new program called “24/7 sobriety monitoring,” however this program will only be available in a limited number of jurisdictions.
Employer Vehicle Exemption
Under the Washington state new DUI law, any person convicted of DUI who is ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device may not obtain an employer exemption until 30 days after installation of the device. The old law provided a means whereby a person required to drive an employer-owned vehicle for work could get an immediate exemption from the Ignition Interlock requirement while they were driving their work vehicle. This will not be the case going forward, and as a result it is likely a lot of people will start losing their jobs as a result of a DUI conviction.
With the Washington state new DUI law changes courts must consider whether a person’s vehicle is subject to forfeiture to the government in cases of DUI, Physical Control, and Ignition Interlock violation cases.
Senate Bill 5912 contains a number of other provisions, but these are some of the most important one’s that will have the most immediate impact on DUI cases and on individuals convicted of DUI. Drinking and driving is not worth the risk, and the best advice anyone can give is to just not do it. But, if you are facing a DUI charge it is more important than ever to protect your rights and seek competent legal counsel as soon as possible. It is never too early to start preparing your defense, and making plans to deal with these very serious potential consequences.
Russell & Hill, PLLC: Spokane Personal Injury & Disability Attorneys
1212 N Washington St #122