The New “Tougher” Washington State DUI Law
According the Washington State Governor Jay Inslee: “The state was taking an important step in strengthening laws to protect people.”
Being an attorney that practices DUI law and has offices in Kirkland and Bellevue, Washington I believe safety is extremely important. Driving Drunk in King County, Washington or anywhere is extremely dangerous and never should be done. Although, I am not convinced it is an epidemic and deserves the attention it gets, but I recognize there is no hiding the danger.
The New law is now going to require suspected second time Washington State DUI offenders to face mandatory arrest and have the interlock device installed on their vehicle. The law as signed by the governor reads as follows:
“When any person charged with or arrested for a violation of RCW 15 46.61.502, 46.61.504, 46.61.520, or 46.61.522, in which the person has a prior offense as defined in RCW 46.61.5055 and the current offense involves alcohol, is released from custody before arraignment or trial on bail or personal recognizance, the court authorizing the release shall require, as a condition of release, that person to have a functioning ignition interlock device installed on all motor vehicles operated by the person, with proof of installation filed with the court 3 by the person or the certified interlock provider within five business days of the date of release from custody or as soon thereafter as determined by the court based on availability within the jurisdiction; or comply with 24/7 sobriety program.”
I realize this part of the law only applies to people accused of second offenses, but it appears that the intent of this law is to punish persons only accused of a Washington State DUI. It is extremely frustrating as a Washington criminal defense attorney to know that suspects will never be reimbursed when wrongly accused. If a suspect says they are not guilty, goes to trial and wins, there is no way to get reimbursed for the money they spent on an attorney, interlock device, time missed from work, and embarrassment.
There is a very fine line that needs to be balanced when dealing with the rights of the accused. Do you think this law has gone too far? Is it punishing the accused before a conviction? I really would like to know your thoughts. What do you think the answer to reducing the Washington State DUIs?