"They keep happening, but they don't have to."
That's how DUI survivor Dan Schulte described accidents caused by repeat drunk drivers to K5 News as he joined other survivors this week. They have come together to appeal to Washington lawmakers now deciding on the state's budget. Several DUI laws are on the docket but are reportedly in danger of being dropped for budgetary reasons.
Recently, the Washington Senate and the House of Representatives have passed legislation that would bring tougher DUI laws to the state. These include in-home monitoring for repeat offenders, tighter ignition interlock restrictions, and the reclassification of a fourth DUI conviction as a felony offense.
While lawmakers have come to an agreement that they laws may help make roads safer, there are monetary concerns to implementing these laws. According to K5, sponsors of these bills have admitted that the laws could add up to $10 million in costs for the state, particularly in prison expenses.
Only one day remains in the current legislative session before lawmakers are required to submit a budget. The governor has threatened to veto all current bills in consideration if the legislature cannot present a viable budget for the state by the March 10 deadline.
Supports of the new bill say that implementing them would help Washington catch up with other states have already recognized the importance of keeping repeat DUI offenders off the road. For instance, in Oregon and Idaho, a third DUI arrest for a driver could result in a felony charge. In Washington, it currently takes five DUI arrests.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, then I invite you to contact my firm today. At the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC, my clients benefit from the insight and experience of a former prosecutor who knows what challenges that the accused in these cases face both in and outside the courtroom.
Securing the best possible outcome can be possible. Call my firm to speak with a skilled Snohomish County DUI attorney today.