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TOUGHER DUI STATUTES AND PENALTIES IN WASHINGTON STATE

Posted by Michelle Dellino | Mar 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

Tougher DUI statutes and penalties are on the horizon in Washington State, if proponents of pending bills have their way.

Legislature in Washington passed a bill last week that would raise penalties for DUI convictions at the felony-level, per King 5 News reportThe news report explains that in Washington State, a person's first four DUIs are gross misdemeanors. The fifth DUI conviction within 10 years is considered a Class C felony. A DUI is also a felony if someone has previously committed vehicular assault while intoxicated or vehicular homicide. A Class C felony, under current law, carries penalties of up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

House Bill 2280 would double current penalties by making a felony DUI conviction a Class B felony, carrying penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. This Bill passed the Senate with a unanimous vote and is now with Governor Inslee.

Stricter penalties aren't the only shift in DUI law being proposed in Washington State. Proponents and sponsors of pending DUI bills assert that Washington State DUI laws are not tough enough. The Seattle Times describes the bills, being heard in a legislative session this week. Senate Bill 5105 takes on the existing Washington State law that repeat DUI convictions don't become a felony until the fifth conviction in 10 years. This is more lax than other nearby states, and under this proposed bill, one could face prison time for their fourth conviction. According to The Seattle Times, this bill has struggled to get through the House previously, even after passing in the Senate, due to prosecution costs and concerns of already over-crowded prisons.

The Seattle Times also refers to the repeat offenders' bill, as described above via King 5 News. As reported, House Bill 2280 aims to double penalties for felony DUI charges.

About the Author

Michelle Dellino

Michelle Dellino is the Managing Attorney of Dellino Law Group. The firm was founded on her belief that there is, very simply, a solution to every problem. Her personal practice focuses on complex family law matters including high conflict cases; high asset and long term marriage dissolution; cases involving business owners, IT, and medical professionals; domestic violence family law; and preparing cohabitation, prenuptial, and postnuptial agreements. Both a trained mediator and former criminal trial attorney, she has the skills and experience to take a case anywhere it needs to go, whether that is a creative settlement or intensive courtroom litigation. In her free time she chases her four dogs and two cats, loves the New York Yankees because mediocrity is not tolerated in pinstripes, and travels as often as she can.

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