TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Thursday a measure to more closely monitor motorists who repeatedly drive under the influence.
Under the revised bill, drivers charged with a second impaired driving offense would face mandatory arrest and booking in jail and have an interlock device installed on their vehicles within five days of being charged. The state would also begin a pilot program in three counties and two cities to conduct daily alcohol monitoring on a person convicted twice under the DUI law. Additional money would be put toward ensuring prosecutors and local jurisdictions can prosecute and punish more offenders more quickly.
“If you choose to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re choosing to put other people’s lives at risk, and I’m not going to tolerate that in Washington state,” Inslee said. “The bill I signed today will make our roads safer and save lives.”
The law, sparked by tragic accidents earlier this year, is a scaled back version of an initial plan that would have increased minimum jail times for offenders.
“Gov. Inslee’s bill provides much-needed new tools for cracking down on repeat DUI offenders,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, who spoke at Thursday's bill signing.
“Prosecutors around Washington state will have additional resources to put more drunk drivers – especially dangerous repeat offenders – in jail where they belong. I’ve seen too many families and lives torn apart by the preventable crime of drunk driving."
The legislation passed both the House and Senate unanimously.