Washington's DUI bill has a second chance at becoming law


    Washington's DUI bill comes back from the dead

    OLYMPIA, Wash. -- There's a surprise turn-around for a state bill cracking down on repeat drunk drivers. As of Wednesday night, it was considered dead, but it's fate has drastically improved.

    The bill would make it a felony if a driver got four DUIs in a 15-year period. Right now, it's only a 10-year period.

    It passed two committees, but it didn't come up for a vote in the Senate by the 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday.

    There was bi-partisan support with emotional testimony from people who've suffered losses from repeat DUI offenders.

    "This is Jessica's photo," said Joan Davis of her daughter. "And this is a photo of where she's buried... all because he chose to drink and drive."

    Prosecutors say the current 10-year period lets too many repeat DUIs keep driving. State traffic safety prosecutor Miriam Norman said, "We want to get rid of that 10-year look-back."

    Despite Wednesday's failure to bring the bill up for a vote, democrats now say the bill is very much alive.

    "And we are committed to that policy and there is a House bill coming over that has a wide title that we have already identified as a place where we could put that policy," Billig said.

    "It's something we'd be interested in, sure," said Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-majority leader.

    KOMO was able to deliver the news to republican Sen. Mike Padden who sponsored the bill. "Well, that's good news," he said. "And I hope they follow through and we'll continue to push it. It would certainly help things be a litter safer on our roadways."

    The Senate bill is being added to a House bill and is waiting to be assigned to a senate committee to continue the hearing process.

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