In response to two particularly horrific impaired-driving related crashes in Washington in March and April of this year, Governor Inslee made it a priority to address hardcore drunk driving in the state. Under the leadership of Senator Mike Padden and Representative Roger Goodman, the legislature sent the Governor a package of provisions that will greatly enhance current laws, and will pave the way for further enhancements to the sanctions on hardcore offenders. Among the provisions, The Century Council applauds Washington for:
1. Allowing police officers to directly file charges with the court in order to speed up the process of getting the offender through the system;
2. Requiring ignition interlock devices on repeat offenders as a condition of release from jail, prior to conviction;
3. Requiring all felony DUI offenders to be supervised by the Department of Corrections, rather than go through a lengthy assessment process; and,
4. Implementing a 24/7 sobriety program pilot project for repeat offenders that will study the application of 24/7 programs in five cities and counties, and encourage implementation state-wide by 2017.
The Century Council is eager to work with these and other legislators to continue enhancing impaired driving laws in Washington in 2014 and beyond.