Legislature takes up DUI crackdown bill during special session

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - After two suspected drunken driving crashes shattered two families in less than two weeks, lawmakers are looking at ways to prevent similar tragedies.

 The legislature is taking up the proposed bill during its special session this week.  The bill was inspired after a double fatality crash in Wedgwood.

Authorities said the suspected DUI driver plowed into four people at a Wedgwood intersection, killing two and putting a 10-day-old infant and his mother in the hospital with brain injuries.  The driver had previous DUIs and a suspended license.

 A bill before the legislature might have prevented the wreck. It would require a suspected DUI driver with repeat offenses to be jailed.  A judge could then require an ignition interlock on the driver’s vehicle before it would be released from impound.

 In April, a suspected drunken driver going the wrong way on State Route 520 killed a woman on her way to work, police said.  That driver also had previous DUIs.

Under the proposed law, a fourth DUI would be considered a felony.