From displaying your Seahawks and Sounders pride to cracking down on repeat DUI offenders, the new year brings new laws for the state of Washington.
We start with the statewide minimum wage increase that’s tied to an old law. The minimum wage goes up on January 1 from $9.19 an hour to $9.32 an hour. Washington’s minimum wage changes yearly based on the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation.
January 1 starts a statewide sobriety pilot program which targets drunk drivers. It will go into effect in Thurston, Chelan and Spokane counties. And it will start in the cities of Kent and Centralia. Second time DUI offenders could be forced to wear a bracelet to measure alcohol through their sweat or do Breathalyzer tests twice a day.
The term “riot” will be removed from Washington law. The penalties won’t change, but riot will be replaced by criminal mischief in a law requested by Superior Court judges. Judges said the term, riot, didn't accurately describe the law's intention. The law refers to someone acting with three or more people to threaten force or use force on a person or property.
And Seahawks and Sounders fans have a new way to show their pride. A new law makes way for specialized license plates. A portion of the money raised from the plates goes to InvestED, which helps Washington students in need. The license plates will be available starting January 1 through the Department of Licensing.
And the recreational pot industry will have all eyes on Colorado, where marijuana sales begin tomorrow. The Washington Liquor Control Board estimates by June you'll be able to walk into Washington retail businesses to buy weed.