This Washington

Ferguson Proposes Harsher DUI Penalties

By Erica C. Barnett January 13, 2012

King County Council member Bob Ferguson, a Democratic candidate for state attorney general, has said he will push for new laws cracking down on people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Specifically, Ferguson---whose only opponent, so far, is his county council colleague Reagan Dunn, a Republican---said he would propose four changes to state law.

First, Ferguson said he would increase penalties for repeat DUI offenders convicted of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide---doubling the sentence for vehicular assault to 6 to 18 months in jail and doubling the sentence for vehicular homicide to 62 to 82 months in jail.

Second, Ferguson said he would crack down on repeat DUI offenders, making it a felony to have more than two DUIs in ten years.

Third, Ferguson is proposing to double the minimum penalty for DUI offenders who have a child in the car. Nationwide, one in seven child deaths on the road are caused by drunk drivers.

Finally, Ferguson said he would propose "zero tolerance" laws for DUI drivers under the influence of meth, PCP, cocaine, or ecstasy.

The Seattle Transit Blog notes that, according to the state department of transportation, 48 percent of all traffic deaths involved impairment from alcohol or drugs.
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