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New Law Makes 4th DUI in Washington State A Felony

Posted Monday, July 3, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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New laws on DUI’s have been signed into law in Washington State. Effective July 23, 2017 a fourth DUI conviction within 10 years will be charged as a felony. Under the new law, offenders will be sent to prison for 13 to 17 months (although this jail time can increase depending on your criminal history).

Up to this point, the existing law made the fifth DUI offense a felony, requiring four misdemeanor DUI convictions over the 10 years prior to the fifth conviction. The bill’s fiscal notes state that roughly 192 cases per year will be prosecuted as felony DUI cases rather than gross misdemeanors.

Other Laws Concerning DUI’s

Along with Senate Bill 5037, Governor Jay Inslee also signed into law House Bill 1614-S2.SL, which tightens rules associated with DUI arrests and related procedures. Also effective July 23, 2017, the new law:

• Imposes an express requirement that, to vacate a record of conviction for an impaired driving related prior offense, 10 years must have elapsed since the arrest for the prior offense.

• Requires a law enforcement officer to make a warrantless arrest and hold a person suspected of impaired driving in custody when the arresting officer knows that the person is charged with or awaiting arraignment on another offense related to impaired driving.

• Imposes an additional $50 fee upon conviction for certain impaired driving related offenses to fund grants for organizations that operate programs to reduce driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

• You can read the entire House Bill Report here.

The ratification of these new laws signals a crack down on DUI offenses in Washington State. Prosecutors may begin to more zealously pursue DUI charges. If you are facing DUI charges, you need to consult with a skilled Washington criminal defense attorney with DUI defense experience.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC know how important it is to defend your rights. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of DUI defense. We know how to pinpoint the weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case and use them to get DUI charges dropped to lesser offenses or dismissed entirely. For more than 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State with aggressive and effective criminal defense.

We answer our phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at, or fill out our online free consultation form today.

5: Reports/House/1614-S2.E HBR PL 17.pdf