Tougher DUI law approved in Washington

| Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire has signed a bill into law intended to crackdown on drunken driving in the state.

The new law, previously HB3317, would make a fifth conviction of driving under the influence in 10 years a felony. A DUI charge would also be a felony for those people with previous convictions for vehicular assault or vehicular homicide while impaired.

“This is a very important public safety bill to get incorrigible drunken drivers off our roads,” Gregoire told The Associated Press.

Washington law previously called for drunken drivers to face up to one year behind bars unless other factors, such as injury or death, resulted in additional charges.

The new rule, which takes effect in July 2007, would mandate that drivers with five offenses in a decade serve 15 months to five years in prison.