Bills for HOV cheaters, multiple DUI offenders move forward in Olympia
A handful of transportation bills continue to make their way through the Washington State Legislature, including bills to increase punishments for multiple instance DUI offenders, heftier penalties for HOV violators, and more.
A proposal from State Senator Mike Padden early in the 2019 session would have extended the look-back period for multiple DUI offenders to 15 years, but it died in committee. Now, it has been resurrected, and moves forward as part of another comprehensive DUI bill.
Russell Brown with the Washington Association of Prosecutors is thrilled to see that Padden proposal back in play.
“The 15-year look-back we think is a significant enhancement to our DUI laws,” said Brown.
The extended look-back provision was added to a bill from Democratic Rep. Roger Goodman, making several other changes to our DUI laws. The bill includes an increase to the amount of time a person has to use ignition interlock devices, stronger penalties for drunk drivers who have kids in the car, and much more.
A bill to dramatically increase fines for carpool lane cheaters is also moving ahead.
This proposal hits single drivers in the carpool lane with increasing penalties for multiple offenses within a two-year period. The initial ticket would jump to $186, up from the current fine of $136. A second violation in two years is $336, and a third is $686.
That’s nearly $100 less than the original proposal, but still too high for several lawmakers in the House.
“When we start talking about traffic infractions getting up into the $680 range, that’s a lot — when I think of somebody making $15 an hour, a week’s worth of pay for an infraction like that that gives me some concern,” said Republican Rep. Kelly Chambers.
The bill would also include an additional $200 fine for any HOV cheaters using dolls or dummies.
It already passed through the Senate, and just passed out of a House committee. That House version passed with changes, so the differences between that and the Senate bill will need to be worked out moving forward.
A bill that passed the House Tuesday would crack down on cars that end up in bike lanes.
The bill “expands rules” for car “overtaking and passing an individual who is traveling as a pedestrian or on a bicycle,” establishing a $48 fine for “unlawfully passing these vulnerable roadway users.”
Also included in the “vulnerable roadway user” category were people riding animals, and farm tractors.