October 18, 2017

Washington State passes tougher DUI laws

Washington State legislators have passed tougher penalties and new rules related to driving under the influence. The new law will change the definition of a DUI to include “huffing chemical substances,” according to an article in the Whidbey Examiner, New DUI law stiffens penalties, opens records.

The law adds an additional $20 per month fee to the Ignition Interlock Devices required of drivers convicted of DUI. The fee will help pay for Ignition Interlock Devices for those convicted of DUI who cannot afford to it. An ignition interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting until the driver’s blood alcohol level is tested, and deemed safe. The driver’s blood alcohol level will also be tested during random drive times.

The article also reported that the number of ignition interlock device installed in Washington’s drivers vehicles could double to 50,000 over the next couple of years. That’s because the law has been changed to require some drivers to use them who’ve had a DUI charged dropped to reckless driving. Some of the interlock devices will soon come with facial recognition features as well to keep a sober person, who isn’t driving, from potentially unlocking the device for a non-sober driver.

Under this new law emergency-service fees have been substantially raised from $1,000 to $2,500 if these services are needed during a drunk driving offense.

The law goes into effect Aug. 1.

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