Klippert supports stronger DUI law, but says lots of work remains, plans to address it next session

Rep. Brad Klippert, lead on public safety issues for the House Republican Caucus, stood in support of stronger DUI laws in Washington today as the House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 5912. However, Klippert says more steps still need to be taken.

“While I support the legislation we passed today, it was very difficult for me, because I feel we could have made this legislation stronger, protected many more innocent lives and kept more DUI offenders off the roads,” said Klippert, R-Kennewick. “However, even if this next step saves one life, we have done the right thing in passing this legislation.”

The legislation requires sobriety monitoring for repeat offenders that commit DUI and physical control offenses, requires community custody supervision for felony level DUI offenders, modifies provisions on negligent driving and mandatory arrests/booking of repeat offenders. It also changes ignition interlock device (IIDs) requirements, requires IIDs as a condition of release, and provides for consideration of vehicle forfeiture for IID violations.

“All these elements are important to DUI law, but when you look at what we didn't do, such as make a fourth DUI conviction a felony, that is a glaring concern,” said Klippert. “As a longtime member of law enforcement I have seen the horrific tragedies and innocent lives taken because of drunk driving. It pains me to know we could have done more to protect the people on our roads and in our communities; but this legislation will improve our DUI laws, and I am committed to strengthening these laws in next year's legislative session.”

Klippert will introduce three bills in the 2014 legislative session that would:

  • require all DUI offenders to be arrested, booked and put on a 6-hour hold;
  • make it a felony DUI on the fourth DUI conviction, instead of on the fifth DUI conviction, under current law; and
  • eliminate the “10-year look back” for felony DUIs, so the fourth DUI in a lifetime would be a felony DUI, instead of the fourth DUI within 10 years.

The bill passed the Legislature unanimously. It is now headed to the governor's desk for his signature.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov