It was an emotional day for the families of those killed by drunken drivers as they witnessed Washington state Governor Jay Inslee sign new legislation which strengthen penalties for repeat DUI offenders.
The new law, which goes into effect on September 28, requires that a driver who has been arrested on suspicion of DUI and has a previous conviction to be arrested and charged in a timely manner and install an interlock device on their vehicle within five days of being charged. If convicted, the new law also increases sentencing guidelines.
The second part of the new law institutes a pilot program in up to three counties and two cities to daily monitor those convicted two or more times of DUI. The monitoring portion of the law will go into effect on January 1, 2014.
Inslee said, “No law can bring these loved ones back but we must move forward in preventing even more loss of life on our roads.”
In attendance at the bill signing was Dan Schulte whose parents were killed and wife and baby son were critically injured when a drunk driver struck them while walking in a Seattle crosswalk. Also in attendance was Frank Blair whose daughter, Sheena, was killed in 2010 by a wrong-way driver.
According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), approximately 40,000 people are arrested on suspicion of DUI every year with have of the arrests made by the Patrol and the other half of the arrests made by local law enforcement.
Repeat DUI Offenders
Every year, approximately 9,800 people are killed in a drunk driving accident and one in three fatal traffic accidents involve drunk driving. One-third of the drunk driving accidents, fatalities, injuries and arrests involve repeat offenders, people who have already had been convicted of a drunk driving offense. Unfortunately, taking away a driver’s license is not enough, with up to 75% those who have had their license revoked driving again.
It is chilling to think that there are 2 million drivers on the road today that have had three or more drunk driving convictions. That is why many are calling for requiring ignition interlock devices to be installed on the vehicles of anyone convicted of DUI.
Ignition Interlock Devices
Ignition interlock devices measure the alcohol content in a driver’s system. The device, which is about the size of a cell phone, will prohibit the vehicle from starting if the driver has a measurable amount of alcohol in their system. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ignition interlock devices reduces repeat offenses by up to two-thirds.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in auto accidents caused by drunken drivers and the family of those who have been killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.
2 killed, mother and infant in critical condition after being hit by a drunk driver in Seattle
How safe is your ‘designated driver’?
Family of pedestrian killed by drunk driver receives $11M wrongful death award