Rep. Brad Klippert presses for tougher DUI laws


Legislator: Rep. Brad Klippert
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Current DUI laws are not enough.  That, from state Representative Brad Klippert.  He's calling for a felony conviction for a fourth DUI.  Ruth Johnson reports from Olympia.

Johnson:  The Republican lawmaker has been a police officer for over twenty years.  His bill to make the fourth DUI offense a felony was heard by lawmakers Friday in a public hearing at the capitol.

Klippert: “We have nothing against people.  We just want the citizens on the roads of Washington, on the streets and on roads, to be safe.”

Testifying in favor of the bill was Bill Hilton (Puyallup), whose 8 year old brother was killed by a drunk driver.  Hilton later became a state trooper.  Here is what he says about drunk drivers.

Member: “The first time, maybe somebody made a mistake, had too much to drink, maybe not, and they got behind the wheel of a car and were arrested.  If they do it a second time, to me, they have a problem they can't solve, or they don't care.  If they do it a third time, fourth time, fifth time, it is almost like a roulette wheel that goes around and around.  If they hit the wrong space, somebody is going to be critically injured or killed.”

Johnson: Current law makes the 5th DUI offense a felony.  Cities and counties and law enforcement agencies across the state support Brad Klippert's bill to change that.  The committee is expected to take action soon.

Ruth Johnson, Olympia.

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