The start of a new year is often a time for Washingtonians to take stock of their lives, to reflect on the previous year and to plan for the upcoming one. That evaluation can lead to changes, such as more trips to the gym, increased time with family and many more.
The state of Washington does much the same thing. It reviews situations and proposes solutions. Often those solutions are implemented in pilot programs that test whether the program should extend throughout the state. January 1st is a common time for those programs to begin. One of those programs could have major consequences for Washingtonians facing drunk driving charges.
Starting on New Year's Day, the Washington State Patrol is launching a new DUI enforcement program. The new program features increased punishments for Washingtonians caught drinking and drinking in five areas of the state. According to reports, those areas are the cities of Kent and Centralia, as well as the counties of Chelan, Spokane and Thurston.
Under the program, drivers charged with a second DUI in the five areas would have to see a judge. The judge will then decide whether to require daily monitoring of substance abuse. If so, the accused driver would then have to either wear an ankle monitor or report to jail twice a day to take a breath test. Failing the test would mean jail time.
As the pilot program underscores, the law is tough on drunk driving. A conviction can mean steep consequences, such as jail time, hefty fines, loss of one's driver's licenses and the imposition of burdensome conditions such as those meted out by the pilot program. Given the consequences, Washingtonians facing a drunk driving charge Washingtonians should think hard about getting an experienced lawyer to help them with their DUI defense.
Source: Yakima Herald, "Tough new DUI enforcement program begins Wednesday," Dec. 30, 2013