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Washington Laws Amongst Toughest in the Nation for DUI; New Bill Would Let Some Avoid DUI Ignition Locks

Posted by Steve Karimi | Jun 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

It is no secret by now there is an array of extensive and confusing laws in Washington that address driving under the influence (DUIs). Washington remains amongst the toughest state on DUI offenders. If you are over 21 and pulled over and blow over .08% (the legal limit), you are at risk for stiff penalties, suspension of your license even if you are not convicted, a tainted permanent record, and jail. Moreover, courts are allowed to impose additional sanctions, including a drug/alcohol treatment program, driving school, or requiring you to install an ignition interlock device on your car.

WA House Bill 1272

Recently, Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) sponsored H.B. 1272, which would strengthen the state's current DUI laws while giving flexibility to some drivers. The bill would:

  • Add a provision to make it a traffic infraction for a person to have an open container of marijuana in the main compartment of a vehicle.
  • Require courts to notify the Department of Licensing (“DOL”) when a defendant is required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) and notifying officials when restrictions are lifted. This means that an IID would be indicated on one's driver's license, so police will know immediately the restrictions on a driver at any traffic stop.
  • Lift an IID if the driver promises not to drive. S/he must sign an affidavit which promises he will not drive, and file it with the court. Instead, they would agree to undergo alcohol monitoring.

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a machine that prevents your car from starting if it detects any alcohol on your breath (even if it is within the legal limit). There have been both opponents and support for this provision, as it provides for both stricter laws as well as more lenient flexibility.

Regardless of whether the more flexible provisions of H.B. 1272 passes, the sanctions and penalties for a DUI are no laughing matter. To avoid the installation of an ignition interlock device or to obtain an ignition interlock license, you should seek the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney. A DUI conviction can ruin your reputation, as well as affect your ability to get to and from school or work.

Seattle DUI Defense Lawyer

As a former prosecutor, attorney Steve Karimi knows how to break DUI cases down to determine exactly what happened and locate the weak points in the prosecution's case. Our DUI defense practice is characterized by honesty, integrity, a thorough knowledge of the criminal justice system and a detailed understanding of the science of DUI evidence. We offer aggressive and intelligent defense for adults and minors charged with DUI as well as Canadians arrested for DUI while visiting Washington State. Our firm also handles felony DUI charges and other serious cases, including marijuana DUIs and vehicular assault and manslaughter. If you have been charged with a DUI contact us today at 206-621-8777 to schedule a free initial consultation. 24-hour-a-day call service is available at 206-660-6200.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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