drunk driving

Washington Traffic Safety Commission

Impaired driving citations dropped sharply across Oregon and Washington this spring during the coronavirus pandemic. There are multiple possible explanations for the decline, but people drinking and using drugs less does not appear to be a likely one.

Jeanie Lindsay / Northwest News Network

Washington lawmakers are considering a bill that would reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers from .08 to .05. That would make the limit one of the lowest in the nation. The House Transportation Committee heard the bill Tuesday

Washington DOC

A former Washington State University student who fled to Ireland after a deadly drunk driving crash has been released from prison.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

It’s been nearly a year since a repeat drunk driver caused a horrific accident in north Seattle.

Austin Jenkins/ Northwest News Network. Dan Schulte, with his sister at his side, speaks at the bill signing ceremony for Washington’s new DUI law.

Second-time drunk drivers in Washington will go directly to jail. They’ll also be required to get an ignition interlock device within five days.

Those are just two of the provisions in a sweeping new DUI measure signed into law Thursday. But already there are calls for even tougher penalties in the future.

The bill signing ceremony took place at a State Patrol field office. Governor Jay Inslee was flanked by police, prosecutors, lawmakers and victims.

US Department of Transportation

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and lawmakers want to move swiftly to crack down on repeat drunk drivers. This after two recent high profile tragedies in Seattle. But Thursday they got some pushback from judges, prosecutors, civil libertarians and even the restaurant industry.

It’s a classic case of the devil’s in the details. Take ignition interlock devices. There’s a proposal to install them at the impound lot after a drunk driver is arrested. But the installers say that isn’t technically feasible and lawyers question whether it’s legal prior to a conviction.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Repeat drunk drivers in Washington may soon carry a scarlet letter driver license and have to wear an alcohol detection bracelet. Those are just two of the requirements contained in DUI legislation proposed Tuesday in Olympia.

The bipartisan plan follows two recent drunk driving tragedies in the Seattle area.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Recent tragedies in Seattle have triggered an emergency discussion of drunk driving laws. Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday it’s not acceptable that it takes a fifth DUI in ten years before a driver is charged with a felony. But changing that policy would be costly.

Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Jay Inslee is demanding a renewed crackdown on drunk drivers. This after recent tragedies in the Seattle area.

The Democrat Tuesday called for more DUI patrols, more resources for prosecutors and stricter rules for ignition interlock devices.

“We've got to understand a drinking driver is just as dangerous as someone out there with a bomb in their car because that’s what they are," the governor said. "They’re rolling time bombs and that’s why I believe we need to be much more aggressive.”