Lawmakers reach deal on new DUI laws



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Posted on April 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 16 at 6:40 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Drunk driving laws are changing in Washington state after two high-profile, deadly crashes involving suspected drunk drivers in King County.

Governor Jay Inslee, D-Washington, announced a new package of driving under the influence laws has bipartisan support in Olympia.

“Every accident and every death we see involving a DUI could have been prevented,” Inslee said in a release. “People who choose to get behind the wheel must know that we are done giving them a free pass.”

The proposed legislation would result in several penalty changes.

Police would have to arrest and take the driver into custody after a first DUI offense, according to the Governor’s office. After a second offense, drivers would have to choose between treatment or a mandatory six months in jail.

Drivers convicted of a third DUI would get at least a one-year prison sentence. In addition, a three-time offender will be issues a new driver's license that would prevent them from buying alcohol for 10 years.

Frank Blair, whose daughter was killed by a DUI driver in 2010, said he was pleased with the proposed laws.

"It sends a message, we have to stop this, it's not ok," said Blair.

Judy and Dennis Schulte were run over March 25 by a suspected drunk driver, Mark Mullan, in Northeast Seattle. Mullan is also accused of seriously injuring the Schulte’s daughter and infant granddaughter. He had several prior DUI convictions.

Morgan Williams was killed April 4 by an alleged drunk driver going the wrong way on Highway 520. The driver in that crash, Michael Robertson, was awaiting trial on another DUI charge.