Just last week the Washington State Senate Law & Justice Committee approved a measure which they hope will improve the state’s impaired driving laws. The changes include making driving under the influence a felony on the fourth conviction, rather than the current law that has it at five DUI convictions within 10 years. Their proposal also includes a mandatory arrest if a person has a prior offense within the past decade and increases mandatory minimum jail time for repeat offenders. If someone with a prior offense is arrested again on DUI a court must require that an interlock device be installed on the person’s car with proof to be filed with the court within 10 days, or the court can require participation in a sobriety monitoring program, or both.
Mandatory arrests, mandatory installation of interlock ignition devices, increased risk of an extended stay in jail–clearly Washington State legislators are not messing around when it comes to drunk drivers and repeat offenders.
And well they should. Because despite the attention garnered by distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, especially repeat offenses of those arrested once for drunk driving is no less dangerous than it has ever been. And despite best efforts by police and legislators to curtail fatalities caused by drunk driving the statistics show that drunk driving is still a leading cause of death on the roadways.
At My Improv we consider ourselves the Washington defensive driving school, so we recognize just how dangerous drunk driving is and applaud any efforts to help get the statistics turned around and focused on keeping everyone safe.