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Published on Friday, March 20, 2015

Update on DUI bills

Rep. Brad Klippert’s (R-Kennewick) DUI bill, HB 1276, had a public hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on March 17. Each year a group of lawmakers and stakeholders revisit DUI legislation to respond to changing policy. This year it is in the form of HB 1276. Among its many provisions, HB 1276 requires courts to notify the Department of Licensing in instances where a defendant is required to use an ignition interlock device and, when that restriction is lifted, makes it an infraction to have an open container of marijuana in the main compartment of a vehicle on a public roadway. In order to stay alive, HB 1276 must move out of the Senate Law & Justice Committee by April 1, 2015.

SB 5105, sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley), stipulated that a person may be charged with a felony DUI if the person’s criminal record includes three or more prior offenses within ten years. Current law specifies four or more prior offenses. SB 5105 is assumed to be necessary to implement the budget and is currently in the House Public Safety Committee.

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