A bill in Olympia would allow counties to set up drunk driving courts on college campuses, and penalties could include withholding diplomas until all requirements are met. (AP Photo/file)

College DUI court could withhold diplomas

One idea to get after the drinking problem on college campuses is to set up special drunk driving courts. A bill in the Washington legislature would do just that.

The proposed law SB 5023 would impose early, continuous treatment, supervised by a judge, designed to reduce the number of repeat drunk driving offenses.

During a public hearing, Arthur West told lawmakers Friday that the DUI court amounts to special justice for students.

"I think students need to go to the regular court and where everyone else goes and get a verdict like they would get in a regular court," he said.

Seattle Democrat Adam Klein thinks such a specialty court should be expanded to hear cases involving college staffers, too.

"Maybe any alcohol-related offense ought to be in the jurisdiction of these courts," he added.

The bill, which got a hearing Friday before the Senate Law and Justice committee, would give colleges and universities the power to withhold a diploma until the requirements of the college DUI court are met.

Tim Haeck, KIRO Radio Reporter
Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.
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