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Washington's DUI Laws Strengthened, New Laws of House Bill 1614

Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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Throughout 2017 the Washington State legislature passed several new laws aimed at toughening up criminal laws in our state, particularly regarding DUI offenses.

As of 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, which can increase depending on criminal history.

In addition to the new law making a fourth DUI a felony, the new laws of House Bill 1614 further strengthen Washington’s DUI laws. The majority of the provisions of HB 1614 took effect on July 23, 2017, while two sections (§§ 18 and 19) became effective a few weeks earlier, on July 1, 2017. The new laws create additional regulations for and sanctions against repeat offenders, provide for stricter Ignition Interlock Devise requirements, and expands alcohol-monitoring requirements for offenders determined to have a problem with alcohol. The final report of the bill can be read here.

Overview of New Laws of House Bill 1614

Vacating Criminal Records

The new law extends the amount of time it takes to vacate or expunge an impaired driving-related misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor “prior offense” for DUI sentencing under the Alcohol and drug violators―Penalty schedule (RCW 46.61.5055) to 10 years.

Mandatory Arrest

In addition to mandatory arrest and hold provisions already in place, the new law mandates that a person suspected of DUI must be arrested without a warrant and held in custody when the arresting officer knows that the person is charged with or awaiting arraignment on another offense related to impaired driving.

Ignition Interlock Devise Requirements

Under the new law, a person must have 180 consecutive violation-free days prior to release of an ignition interlock restriction. Previously the law required only four months of consecutive violation-free days.

License Suspension for Willful Failure to Appear or Comply

When a person who is provided notice of or who is served with a traffic infraction or a traffic-related criminal complaint willfully fails to appear before the court, or comply as required by the infraction or complaint, then the court must notify the Washington Department of Licensing.

Defending Against DUI Charges

If you have been arrested for DUI, it is critical that you have an attorney represent you at every stage of the criminal process - from arraignment, to plea negotiations, and through trial if it comes to that. An experienced DUI defense attorney is your best chance at getting the most favorable outcome possible in your case.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC will provide you with tenacious defense in court to combat serious DUI charges. Our attorneys have built our reputation on defense of charges for DUI. We have successfully litigated DUI charges to not guilty verdicts and obtained reduction in charges to lesser crimes, such as Reckless Driving or Reckless Endangerment. Our experience is extensive and our success is frequent.

We invite you to come meet with us for a free consultation to explore how we can help you. Our attorneys have outstanding reputations. Lizanne Padula is a tireless negotiator and a tenacious litigator. Ms. Padula was appointed to serve as a Judge Pro-Tem in Snohomish County in May of 2017. She also serves as the Board President for Citizens for Judicial Excellence (CJE), teaches Ethics as part of the Continuing Legal Education credits (CLEs) offered by CJE, and teaches CLEs for the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL).

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 of fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Padula & Associates, LLC will fiercely advocate on your behalf.

For more than 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving those in King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.