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DUI-DWI

Tough penalties for DUI convictions

Having an excellent DUI Defense in Washington more important than ever. Washington’s  DUI and vehicular assault and homicide laws are some of the toughest DUI penalties in the country. On March 31, 2016. Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill doubling the maximum fine and prison sentence for a felony-level driving under the influence conviction. Inslee also raised the punishments for vehicular assaults and vehicular homicides caused by driving under the influence.

House Bill 2280

Under House Bill 2280, felony DUI will became a Class B Felony in the State of Washington. It comes with a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Those convicted face supervision by the Department of Corrections for up to five years. They face an automatic revocation of their driver’s licenses for up to a decade. The bill was unanimously passed in both the State House and Senate. The companion Senate Bill 5105 maked a fourth DUI charge a felony. This bill died on March 10 after failing advance to the House floor for a vote.

Past Laws

Previously, the charge of felony DUI was a Class C felony, punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 penalty. A person’s fifth DUI within the span of 10 years is a felony, but the first four are gross misdemeanors. A DUI for someone previously convicted of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide while intoxicated was chargeable as a felony-level offense. This was regardless of how many previous misdemeanor DUIs they may have had.

Increased Penalties

Governor Inslee and the Legislature also increased the penalties for vehicular homicides caused by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The sentencing range for that offense changes from a range of 21-27 months, up to 78-102 months. It’s similar to the current penalty for vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law also allows for imposing a lesser sentence if the person has committed no other previous serious traffic offenses.

According to a press release by the Governor’s Office, Gov. Inslee is pleased with the new law.

“While this [bill] doesn’t do everything we need or everything I hoped, this is an important step to saving more lives. I look forward to continuing our efforts to crack down on those who choose to endanger the lives and livelihoods of others by choosing to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

DUI Defense

The law firm of Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone believes that everyone should have an excellent DUI defense. All citizens accused of any crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We extend high quality and professional legal defense services to anyone accused of a wide array of criminal offenses, including DUI, vehicular assault, and vehicular homicide. Our normal coverage territories include Whatcom County, San Juan County, and Skagit County.

We offer a free one-hour consultation for DUI defense and one of our lawyers will appear for free at your first court hearing.