New DUI Laws in Washington

New DUI Laws in Washington


The Washington legislature recently signed a 75 page bill that will significantly change DUI law in Washington.  ESSB 5912 is expected to be signed into law by the governor and many of the changes will go into effect by the end of September.

Warrantless Arrests for DUI

The bill includes authority for a police officer to make an arrest for Minor DUI and Commercial Vehicle DUI, when the offense was committed outside the presence of an officer and without a warrant.

Mandatory Arrest

The bill requires that an officer make an arrest when a driver is suspected of DUI and the officer knows that the driver has a prior conviction within 10 years.  This is the similar to mandatory arrest requirements for domestic violence cases.

Deferred Prosecution

A prior deferred prosecution will count as a prior DUI offense.  This will raise the mandatory minimum sentences significantly.

Ignition Interlock

The court will now order an ignition interlock device after your DUI arriagnment or first appearance if you have a prior offense.  Proof of installation must be filed with the court within 5 days of release.

Additionally, the new laws will limit the ignition interlock exception for work vehicles.  On a first conviction, there is no work vehicle exemption for the first 30 days of the ignition interlock requirement.  For a second or subsequent conviction, there is no exemption for the first year.

24/7 Sobriety Program

A new program will be created that will be an alternative to the Electronic Home Confinement (EHC) requirement to DUI sentences.  The 24/7 sobriety program will be implemented as a condition of pre trial release as well as a replacement for EHC.




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