Legislature ponders elongated vehicular homicide sentencesJanuary 12th, 2012 by josh farley
The crime of vehicular homicide may soon come with a whole lot more prison time. Numerous media outlets (including this story in the Herald of Everett) have highlighted several prosecutors’ and lawmakers’ desires to bolster the sentences of those convicted of driving drunk and killing someone while doing so.
This crime, unfortunately, is all too common of an occurrence. Just last week a Port Orchard man was sentenced to 65 months in prison for the vehicular homicides of three of his friends.
If some lawmakers get their way, the man would’ve faced even more time. According to the Herald story:
The standard sentence range for DUI-related vehicular homicide in Washington is 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years in prison. House bill 2216 would raise the sentencing range to the same level as first-degree manslaughter, 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years.
Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge said he thinks the effort was spurred to “bring vehicular homicide sentences into line with those prescribed for manslaughter.”
“This is good policy and long overdue,” Hauge said in an email. “Like manslaughter, vehicular homicide results from disregard for known dangers. There is no reason I can see to treat homicide with a vehicle more leniently.”