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New State Law Will Affect Washington Drivers

Posted by Mark Garka | May 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Recently, Washington's governor, Jay Inslee, signed bills designed to halt fatal and severe driving accidents that had been rising in recent years. One bill made it an offense to do almost anything while driving and holding a mobile phone, including texting, using social media, or using the Internet. A driver can only use one finger to activate, deactivate, or sign off on a phone. Penalties for a violation include a $135 ticket the first time and up to $235 the second time.

Washington previously required drivers to use hands-free devices for talking on cellphones and banned texting years ago. However, smartphones have allowed people to do more things that were not mentioned in the original statute. The bill gives drivers until the beginning of 2019 before tickets would be issued under the new distracted driving law; however, Inslee vetoed that section, allowing the law to become active this summer.

Another bill passed was one that makes a driver's fourth driving-under-the-influence (DUI) charge within 10 years a felony. Under previous law, a 5th DUI charge would be counted as a felony while a 4th charge would still be a misdemeanor. The new law would make penalties for the 4th DUI substantially more severe.

If you're interested to see how the new laws affect you, or you'd like to discuss your case with us, contact us at (888) 252-1961 or fill out our online form for a case consultation. Our former prosecutor, Mark W. Garka, can take a look at your situation and recommend the best course of action for your defense. He is well versed in all laws regarding DUI charges in the state as well as law enforcement procedures and protocols concerning blood and breath tests and field sobriety tests. He has more than 15 years of experience in aggressively defending DUI cases. We also offer around-the-clock support. Call us today!

About the Author

Mark Garka

Mark is a solo-practitioner who limits his practice to DUI Defense. During Law School, he worked in the Juvenile Division for the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and he also worked in the Corrections Division at the Attorney General's Office. After completing his degree, he clerked...


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