Serving Skagit,
Island, and
Whatcom Counties
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Proposed Washington Felony DUI Changes

The Washington Senate recently introduced Senate Bill 5032, proposing a major change to felony DUIs. If enacted, this bill would extend the time period for DUIs to become a felony to 15 years, instead of 10. This means that if you have 3 or more DUI convictions in 15 years, you will now be charged with a felony. Convictions that qualify under this proposed change include DUI, PC (physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence), vehicular homicide and vehicular assault (if under the influence), DUI and PC from out of state.

This bill also proposes a change that allows a defendant to enter into Impaired Driving Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA) if the defendant is convicted of felony DUI or felony PC, and does not have a prior conviction for felony DUI, felony PC, vehicular assault or vehicular homicide. Previously, an impaired driving charge was ineligible for DOSA. DOSA allows the offender to participate in treatment and supervision instead of serving prison time. In some cases, the prison sentence may be eliminated altogether; in others, time served is reduced. The DOSA can be prison-based or residential-based, depending on prior criminal history, facts of the case, etc.

If the bill is signed into law, these new laws are set to take effect on July 1, 2023. Navigating the constantly changing criminal justice system is difficult. Having a criminal defense attorney on your side who has decades of experience is crucial to obtaining the best outcome for your specific situation. If you have been charged with DUI, call Powers Law Group at 360-419-0809 today to schedule your consultation.