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New DUI Laws for Washington State

Posted by Russell West | Sep 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

Effective September 28, 2013 New Washington State DUI laws go into effect. Senate Bill 5912 was signed by Govenor Inslee In July 2013. These new laws make Washington DUI laws some of the toughest in the nation. Below is a summary of the new laws and changes.

Summary: Arrest Without a Warrant. A police officer must arrest and take into custody,
pending release on bail, personal recognizance, or court order, a person without warrant when
the officer has probable cause to believe that the person violated the DUI or PC laws and has
a prior offense for DUI or PC within ten years (rush file).

Ignition Interlocks. As a condition of release from custody before arraignment or trial, a
defendant who has a prior DUI, PC, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault offense must be
ordered to have a functioning IID installed with proof filed with the court within five
business days of the date of release, or comply with the 24/7 Sobriety monitoring program, or
both. IID restrictions must remain in effect until DOL receives a declaration, in the four prior
consecutive months (1) there have been no attempts to start the vehicle with a breath
concentration of .04 or more unless a subsequent test performed within ten minutes registers
a lower breath alcohol concentration and the digital image confirms that the same person
gave both samples; (2) a review of the digital image confirms that, after a failure to take a
random test, the vehicle was not occupied by the driver at the time of the missed test; or (3)
failure to pass a random retest with a breath concentration of .025 or lower unless a
subsequent test performed within ten minutes registers a lower breath alcohol concentration
and the digital image confirms that the same person gave both samples.

Sentencing. No Prior DUI or PC Offenses. Forty-eight consecutive hours (instead of two
days) of a sentence of two to 364 days must not be suspended or deferred for a person with
no prior DUI or PC offenses and who either refuses a breath or blood test or has a BAC of at
least 0.15 percent unless it would impose a substantial risk to the offender's health or
well being.

One Prior DUI or PC Offense. If available, EHM can be replaced with community-based
treatment for six months, if indicated by an alcohol assessment, along with 24/7 sobriety
program monitoring.

Two or Three Prior DUI or PC Offenses. If available, the offender must be ordered to have
six months of 24/7 sobriety program monitoring and, if indicated by an alcohol assessment,
community-based treatment.

Felony DUI/PC. If a defendant's present conviction is for a felony DUI or PC offense, then
all predicate crimes for the offense must be included in the offender score. The definition of
a predicate offense is expanded to include cases where a deferred sentence was imposed in a
prosecution for a negligent driving in the first degree, reckless driving, or reckless
endangerment offense, when the original charge, which was pled down to a lesser charge,
was filed as a DUI, PC, equivalent ordinance, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault

The Department of Corrections (DOC) must supervise offenders convicted of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, or felony DUI or PC regardless of risk classification.

Impaired Driving Offense With a Child In the Vehicle. If a person is convicted of DUI or PCand the offense was committed while a passenger under the age of 16 was in the vehicle,additional incarceration must be ordered as:ŸŸŸ

  • 24 hours if the person has no prior offenses;
  • five days if the person has one prior offense within seven years; and
  • ten days if the person has two or three prior offenses within seven years.

Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road. When setting penalties for DUI and PC offenses, the court must particularly consider whether during the commission of the offense, the defendant was driving in the opposite direction of the normal flow of traffic on a multiple-lane highway with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour or greater. For felony DUI and PC offenses,driving in the opposite direction of the normal flow of traffic on a multiple-lane highway with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour or greater can be an aggravating circumstance.

Civil Forfeiture. The court must consider whether a vehicle is subject to forfeiture in DUI,PC, and ignition interlock violation cases if a forfeiture has not already occurred.

Commercial Driver's License. A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a minimum of one year if a report is received by DOL that the person was convicted of driving a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of THC in the person's system. Law enforcement must also issue an out-of-service order against a person who drives or is in physical control of a commercial vehicle while having THC in the person's system.

Operating an Employer's Vehicle. DOL may not waive and no employer may exempt an ignition interlock requirement within the first 30 days following installation of an IID after a first offense or for the first 365 days after an IID has been installed for second or subsequent convictions.

Courts. Municipalities are authorized to establish DUI courts and to provide DUI court services. Courts are prohibited from deferring sentences for DUI or PC of intoxicating liquor or any drug. If a court orders EHM to include an alcohol detection breathalyzer, an alternate alcoholic monitoring device may alternatively be required. If the court determines that a wireless alcohol monitoring device is reasonably available, the court may require that device during the period of EHM.

Statewide 24/7 Sobriety Program. The statewide 24/7 sobriety program pilot project is established and administered by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs(WASPC), effective January 1, 2014. Up to three counties and two cities may be selected to participate in the pilot project. Selections are made through a request for proposal process.Criteria are enumerated. The cities selected must not be within counties selected for the project. Other local jurisdictions are encouraged to establish 24/7 programs as soon as practicable. WASPC reports findings and results biennially.

WASPC may adopt policies and procedures for the administration of the 24/7 sobrietyprogram to (1) provide for procedures and apparatuses for testing; (2) establish fees and costs for participation to be paid by the participants; and (3) require the submission of reportsand information by law enforcement agencies within this state.

The 24/7 sobriety account is created to defray the costs of operating the program. The account can receive funds from a variety of sources, including activation and users fees.Funds from the account are used to defray reoccurring costs of the program. Participants' payment of fees are collected contemporaneously or in advance to fund the program and may not be waived or reduced.

Each county, through its sheriff, may participate in the 24/7 sobriety program. If a sheriff is unwilling or unable to participate in the 24/7 sobriety program, the sheriff may designate an entity willing to provide the service. It is the intent of the legislature that the program be implemented statewide by January 1, 2017.

The court may condition any bond, pretrial release, granting of a suspended imposition of sentence, suspended execution of sentence, probation, or release upon participation in the24/7 sobriety program and payment of associated costs and expenses.

A participant who violates the terms of participation must be taken into custody and held foran appearance before a judge on the next judicial day. Penalties for violations are specified.

Ignition Interlock Certification Form. WSP is authorized to create, by rule, the statement for certifying ignition interlock devices. As a result, the ignition interlock certification form referencing the federal register and the federal standards is removed from WSP's statute.

Marijuana and THC. Marijuana and THC are added to a number of statutes dealing withDUI, PC, and negligent driving.

Ignition Interlock Program. Any officer conducting field inspections of ignition interlock devices under the ignition interlock program must report violations by program participants to the court. The WSP may not be held liable for any damages resulting from any act or omission in conducting activities under the ignition interlock program, other than acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

During the 2013-2015 fiscal biennium, funds provided for the ignition interlock program at the WSP must be used to provide field officers to work directly with manufacturers, service centers, technicians, and participants in the program, but may include one non-commissioned staff not for administrative support. The funds must be used to supplement and not supplant other funds being used to fund the ignition interlock program.

Impaired Driving Work Group. An impaired driving work group is established to study effective strategies to reduce vehicle related deaths and serious injuries that are a result of impaired driving incidents. The work group must report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2013.Votes on Final Passage:Second Special Session Senate Bill Report - 6 - E2SSB

If you have been arrested for a DUI contact Russell West at 509-993-0748 for experienced help. Affordable rates and payment plans available. Free consultation.

About the Author

Russell West

Russell West from West Law Office, located in Spokane, Washington represents clients in areas of criminal traffic, misdemeanors, and personal injury. DUI’s, Reckless Driving, Negligent driving, Hit and Run, and Driving with Suspended license are the majority of criminal traffic violations. Drug Charges, Theft, and Domestic Violence account for most of the other criminal cases Russell handles.


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West Law Office - Russell West Attorney

Spokane Attorney Russell West practice areas include: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Slip and Falls, DUIs, DOL Hearings, Criminal Traffic, Expungement/Vacating Records, and Insurance Bad Faith

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