Proposal to toughen DUI laws gets mixed reviews

Updated:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Governor Jay Inslee's proposal to crack down on drunken drivers received a mixed reaction at several hearings by state lawmakers.

People who testified in Olympia Thursday said they believe drunken drivers need to be held accountable, but some of them are not sure if the governor’s current proposals will work.

Frank Blair's daughter, Sheena, was killed by a drunken driver.

 Blair told lawmakers her death and recent fatal drunken driving crashes in Seattle should persuade lawmakers to pass the governor's sweeping proposal to toughen DUI laws.

  But many people expressed concern over the governor’s plan, which was drawn up quickly.

  They said the proposal, which requires everything from a mandatory arrest for a first DUI to immediate use of ignition interlocks before a person has been convicted, could be unconstitutional and costly.

 “I know it was done quickly. There’s a bunch of errors in there that are going to have a lot of unintended consequences, and unless those are fixed and the time is spent to vet this properly, there will be some big messes that will be created,” said Patricia Fulton with the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

 After the hearings, it was clear the governor's proposal is going to be re-worked and there will be some amendments, but lawmakers are working to finish the changes before the end of the legislative session.