Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. When drivers have multiple DUI convictions on their criminal records, they face severe consequences, potentially including serious prison time, if they are arrested again. This is what a 48-year-old Tacoma man who faces a felony DUI charge for his fifth DUI is now facing.
Many would agree that Washington's DUI laws are a bit harsh. However, many would also agree that they are in place for a good reason: to punish those who drive drunk. Drinking and driving is not a victimless crime. It can cause injuries or even death to others. A Quincy, Washington man faces a felony DUI charge after failing a sobriety test on April 10.
Washington already has some of the strictest drinking and driving laws in the nation. Now, lawmakers are hoping to make them even harsher in light of a tragic recent drunk driving incident that killed two people and left two others seriously injured. Even though the state has already increased penalties for drunk driving in the past 15 years, officials are looking to do more to keep people safe, including making changes to felony DUI laws.
Some people learn their lesson after being convicted of a crime once or twice. One man apparently didn't learn his lesson after the first five times. The 35-year-old man was recently arrested after being accused of his sixth DUI in the last 10 years. The man from Lacey, about 30 minutes outside Tacoma, is now facing a possible felony DUI charge.
A man is facing drunk driving charges after registering a blood alcohol content level of more than twice the legal limit. A 56-year-old man is in jail following a Jan. 5 arrest for peeling out at an intersection in Yakima, more than two hours outside Tacoma. His admission to police officers and his prior criminal record earned him a felony DUI charge.
On Dec. 6, Initiative 502 goes into effect in Washington, making marijuana legal in small amounts. Law enforcement is still hashing out the details regarding how they will enforce the new law, but one thing is for certain: felony DUI charges are expected to increase.
Although a routine drunk driving charge is often charged as a misdemeanor, there are cases in which the charge may be increased to a felony. One Washington resident was recently charged with felony DUI; it was his fifth DUI charge in 10 years.
The state of Washington passed a new law on August 1 that will target those who have multiple prior offenses related to drunk driving. The law is part of Target Zero, the state's plan to have zero fatalities on Washington's highways by 2030. This has led to tougher laws for those previously convicted of felony DUIs on multiple occasions.
A Tacoma man has been charged with drinking and driving for the third time since 1991. His latest incident occurred earlier this month after police pulled him over on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma for erratic driving. According to the charging documents, the man was slurring his words, shaking and yelling at the police officers. The man was charged with felony DUI and driving with a suspended license.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most fatal drunk-driving crashes in the United States are caused by drivers who have a blood alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit. In 2010, more than 70 percent of fatal DUI accidents involved a BAC of at least 0.15 -- nearly double the legal limit of 0.08. In Tacoma, DUI charges can have serious consequences to driving and criminal records.