If you follow this blog then you know Im a DUI lawyer in Seattle. One of the things that I do for my practice is try and stay up to date on any potential changes of existing DUI laws. Not only is this important to keep my practice current, but it also forces me to read the news.
If you recall last year during the 2013 legislative session there were a bunch of changes to DUI laws that were proposed. They were all set to make the existing DUI laws harsher and increase the penalties one would face if charged with a DUI. Most of these proposed laws did not pass due to the budget constraints. But the Washington State Legislature is at it again for the 2014 legislative session.
However last month one bill to change Washington’s DUI laws died in the state House of Representatives, when it wasn’t approved. The proposal House Bill 2506 would have raised a felony DUI conviction from a Class C felony to Class B, but the measure failed to move out of a House committee after a public hearing earlier this week. The bill would have increased maximum sentences for felony DUI convictions from five to 10 years, and increased fines from $10,000 to $20,000.
Now even though that bill died another bill has been proposed in the Senate and it is gaining ground quickly. Senate Bill 6090, sponsored by Rep. Mike Padden from Spokane, would cut that number of DUI convictions from four to three for a felony DUI. Currently a DUI becomes a felony if a person has four or more convictions in 10 years.
If I was a betting man I think this law will eventually pass. It may not be this legislative session. Quite frankly there are still budget concerns and monies are needed for another areas. But eventually the proponents of making Washington State have the Toughest DUI laws in the Nation will prevail.
About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI lawyer in Seattle. His practice focuses on representing those charged with DUI and DUI related arrests. He has rated as a 10/10 by Avvo.com when it comes to Seattle DUI Lawyers, and he was named a Rising Star in that area of law by the Seattle Met Magazine.