Handful of DUIs = Felony

The State Legislature this year passed House Bill 3317, a new law that makes the fourth Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge on a resident’s record in a 10-year span a felony offense.

The bill, which passed both the house and senate unanimously, was signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire on March 15, 2006. It will take effect in July 2007.

But how many people will actually get nailed for 4 DUIs? Too many, says the Washington State Patrol, and a Code 911 item from Tuesday (seen below) illustrates the point.

A 52-year-old Bremerton man arrested early Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence already has five DUI convictions, according to the Washington State Patrol.
A clerk at a convenience store had called police after the man, who appeared drunk, left the store. The man was stopped near the convenience store by Bremerton officers, and a trooper administered field sobriety tests, troopers said.
Troopers took him to jail shortly before 1 a.m. Bail was set at $25,000, troopers said.

The state patrol has made DUIs a priority, but the State Legislature, too, appears poised to threaten more jail time against drunk drivers.

One thought on “Handful of DUIs = Felony

  1. Isn’t there a relative new State mandate (RCW) that puts most DUI offenders on EHM?
    Watching my neighbor, I don’t see that the “punishment fits the crime!” Can someone briefly describe EHM parameters?

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