Senate Bill 5037 was signed into law in May of last year as part of a four-year campaign to strengthen Washington’s DUI laws. Under the new law — effective July 2017 — a 4th DUI or Physical Control (PC) conviction within a 10 year period will be charged as a felony. The new law also dictates felony DUI is ranked at Level IV on the felony sentencing grid — meaning a sentence of 13 to 17 months in jail for an offender with no prior felony convictions (this can vary based on criminal history).
It’s important to know that this includes more than just drunk driving DUI. Convictions for driving under the influence of marijuana, prescription and non-prescription drugs all count towards the total number of convictions. In addition, equivalent out-of-state DUI convictions are also considered towards this total.
Prior to the change, a 5th DUI conviction in a 10 year period was charged as a felony. Of the US states with a felony DUI law in place, Washington had the weakest standards — until now. According to the fiscal notes in the bill, about 192 cases per year would change from gross misdemeanors to felony DUIs. The bill is available in its entirety here.
If you’re facing a first-time DUI or repeat-DUI for drunk driving or driving under the influence of marijuana, prescription or non-prescription drugs — having a skilled DUI defense attorney on your side can make a positive difference in the outcome of your case. Attorney Phil Weinberg takes pride in keeping up with the ever-changing DUI laws in Washington State for the benefit of his clients. Phil has a long-standing history of obtaining excellent results for his DUI clients in King and Snohomish Counties. He is known to be a relentless litigator that provides practical and affordable solutions for his clients accused of DUI.
Call Attorney Phil Weinberg at (425) 355-5300 today for a thorough initial consultation and case evaluation at no cost.