2 New DUI Laws in Washington State to start June 2016
Interesting new laws on DUIs in Washington state. Over the course of the last few years, Washington state has seen aggressive new laws and amendments concerning DUIs get passed by the state Legislature. This last session was no different. Two of those bills are discussed below.
House Bill 2280 changed a Class C felony DUI to a Class B felony. This reclassification greatly increases maximum penalties and exposure time in custody for anyone convicted. A felony DUI will now be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. A DUI is currently charged as a felony when there are four or more prior convictions for DUIs within the last 10 years or a person has previously been convicted of vehicular homicide while under the influence of liquor, any drug or vehicular assault.
House Bill 2700 addressed license suspension issues and generally expanded existing DUI laws. It greatly speeds up the process to suspend the licenses of people arrested for impaired driving. Under current law, anyone arrested under suspicion of impaired driving has 20 days to request a hearing to contest the automatic license suspension. HB 2700 changes that time period to just 7 days. Additionally, instead of mandating that the hearing be held within 60 days, that time period is reduced to 30 days.
Both bills take effect June 9, 2016.
With the passing of these new DUI laws, it will be even more important to educate clients arrested under the suspicion of DUI and to immediately engage in action in order to meet the stringent timelines to preserve a client’s right to a hearing.
In my opinion, this is just politics as usual in Washington state. The politicians always use the DUI statutes to be able to keep their careers, instead of understanding that there is an over population of our jails and prisons in Washington state. In my opinion, more public transportation that should be available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, would help in a much more effective manner to keep drunk drivers off the road so that they had alternative means of transportation to get home.
– Greg Hoover
Part of this article was written by Charlie Varni and was also posted on the website of the WSBA. Charlie Varni is currently an attorney at Beckwith Law, a law firm dedicated solely to criminal defense handling complex felony cases to simple misdemeanors.
Hoover Law Group’s primary area of legal practice is in the form of civil and criminal litigation and assisting those involved in EB-5 immigration transactions. Mr. Hoover is licensed in both Oregon and Washington, and New York, U.S.A., and England and Wales. Mr. Hoover is also a skilled negotiator, mediator and arbitrator. As a skilled negotiator and litigator, Mr. Hoover can skillfully resolve your situation through effective negotiations or, if necessary, aggressively represent your matter in court.
Hoover Law Group
815 S. Weller Street Suite 105, Seattle, WA 98104
Hoover Law Group
650 Holladay Street Suite 1600
Portland, OR 97232