DORI MONSON

Dori: Democrat who blocked drunk driving bill got a DUI last year

Apr 30, 2019, 2:32 PM
Timm Ormsby, drunk driving...
State Representative Timm Ormsby. (Washington House Democrats)
(Washington House Democrats)

I think it’s fair to say that the Democrats in Olympia are the party of drunk driving. Why is that?

There was a bill that had been originally proposed by Sen. Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) and then included in a larger bill by Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) that had bipartisan support. It said that if you had four DUIs in 15 years, that’s a felony.

Now, to me, that seemed ludicrously lenient. In countries like Canada, one DUI is a felony. But this bill was still making progress in the right direction. I don’t know anyone in their right mind who could say it was a bad idea. If you get four DUIs, you’ve already had a second, third, and fourth chance to change your drinking and driving habits. Obviously, you’re a danger to everyone else on the road.

But regardless, this bill looked like something everyone in Olympia could agree on, that we should get tougher on drunk driving. That should not be a partisan issue, right?

RELATED: Dori’s 911 call leads to DUI arrest

The bill passed the Senate and stalled in the House of Representatives, where Democrats refused to vote on it. KIRO Radio reporter Hanna Scott has a fantastic story on this, but I’m going to connect the dots further.

The House budget writer, Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane), refused to include any money in the budget for the DUI bill. The House Democrats refused to vote on the bill if it extended the DUI time limit from 10 to 15 years. As you may remember, we’ve seen DUI offenders who have stayed out of jail with five, six, or more DUIs because they occurred over more than 10 years. And so Ormsby said the bill did not pass because it did not have enough funding.

That’s the story you’re going to hear everywhere else. We’re going to dive a little deeper into this.

Let’s find out a little more about Rep. Ormsby. The Spokesman-Review had a headline on Feb. 13, 2018 titled, “Rep Timm Ormsby rolls Jeep, charged with DUI.” Ormsby apparently rolled his Jeep in Olympia with a blood alcohol level of between 0.09 and 0.10, depending on the measurement mechanism. Both measurements were over the legal limit of 0.08.

He told police he had two beers while working on the budget — playing the legislator card with cops. Oh, and I’m sure glad to know they’re budget-writing under the influence, as well. That might explain some of the ridiculous taxation ideas.

So isn’t it interesting that the person obstructing a bill that would get tougher on DUIs is a person who was arrested for driving drunk last year? This is exactly what I’ve been telling you for 24 years. I made drunk driving my first-ever crusade when I got this job. I said that the reason we don’t have tougher DUI laws is because we have state Supreme Court justices who drive drunk. We have legislators who drive drunk. They do not want to weave a net that they can be ensnared in.

I don’t even understand why Timm Ormsby is still in a position of power after being charged with driving under the influence. But that’s where I say, apparently the Democrats are the party of drunk driving. When you have bipartisan support for a DUI bill, and a legislator who was charged with DUI over a year ago is the main obstructionist to getting just a little bit tougher on drunk drivers, it’s about self-preservation. It is not about protecting the public.

Democrats are hard at work down in Olympia. This has been wonderful to put them in charge this session, hasn’t it?

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

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Dori: Democrat who blocked drunk driving bill got a DUI last year