Now that the 2015 Washington State legislative session is under way. The annual what can we do to make DUI laws tougher here in Washington State has begin. The latest example is a proposed bill that would make a fourth offense DUI a felony. Currently under Washington law a felony DUI law charge applies if a driver has been convicted of a DUI four times within the past decade, essentially making a fifth offense DUI a felony. This legislation was proposed last year, and the year before, and the year before it seems. And it always comes back to the same thing. Money. Like all things it always comes back to money. Regardless of how you feel about DUIs, and by now means do I condone drinking and driving. But the cost of new legislation and implementing the laws means more in some cases than the idea. Would making a fourth offense DUI a felony be a good idea. Of course it would. Despite being a DUI Attorney in Seattle, if a driver doesn’t learn their lesson by the third time then chances are nothing is going to help them. At least that is my opinion. Perhaps facing a lengthier jail sentence would cause a multiple repeat DUI offender to reconsider their choices. The problem with this legislation is how will the bill be implemented financially. It is not as simple as saying okay your fourth DUI is now a felony. There are costs that need to be factored. Probation, jail, and monitoring fees are just a few off the top of my head. If you’re interested in an article about this new legislation here you go. I would be surprised if this bill passed. Again not because it is not a good idea, but we still don’t have any money here in Washington State.
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