Changes could be made to Washington State's drinking and driving laws if Governor Chris Gregoire signs off on a proposed bill, as reported by the Seattle Times

Potential Law Changes for Drunk Driving | Kirkland Car Accident Lawyer

Andrew Kim
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The Seattle Times posted this article recently about a claim made by State Representitive Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, that more people are killed in Washington State by drunk drivers than all other criminals combined.  This claim was brought up during a discussion to bring wide-ranging changes to the state's drinking and driving laws.

Over the past 10 years, 2,042 people were killed by drunk drivers according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report.  People who were killed as a result of intentional killings during the same decade totaled 2,028.

After the death of Stephen Lacey, a Kirkland man who was killed last July by a drunk driver, Goodman proposed changes to the state's laws for drinking and driving.  Lacey, 43 and a father of two, was killed when an SUV driven by Patrick Rexroat crashed into his vehicle.  While originally believed to be a case of road rage, Rexroat actually had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.  He pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and was sentenced to the maximum allowable for vehicular homicide DUI- 4 years in prison.

This, along with other penalties for drunk driving will change if Gov. Chris Gregoire signs the proposed bill.

Instead of the maximum 4 years in prison, DUI vehicular homicide convictions would be the same as manslaughter- 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years in prison.  The minimum would stay the same- electronic home monitoring.  Some other proposed laws include:
-Felony DUI related convictions would stay on record permanently.
-Drunk drivers would be required to install an ignition lock device with a camera once their licenses got reinstated to determine whether the person breathing into the device is actually the person driving the vehicle.
-DUI charges could be brought to those who drive impaired after huffing or inhaling chemicals.

In a different bill, drunk drivers could be ordered to pay child support to the minor children of the people they killed or harmed.

The Andrew Kim Law Firm is a personal injury firm in Bellevue that represents those injured in car accidents, bus accidents or any other kind of accident.  If you or someone you know has been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in wrongful death accident, call our office for a free consultation.  You will speak with Kirkland accident attorney who has experience with Kirkland car accidents and Kirkland wrongful death claims.  Our office can be reached at (425) 289-1990, (253) 682-2000 or (800) 636-3676.

Category: Wrongful Death

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