by: Amy Clancy Updated:
EVERETT, Wash. - KIRO 7 Investigators shot video of Tory Long driving on Interstate 5, even though she shouldn't be driving under the terms of her release for DUI and fleeing police.
Long is the driver investigators say struck the 529 bridge between Everett and Marysville while drunk last December, causing $115,000 in damage, and closing the bridge for four days.
Shortly after her arrest late last year, a Snohomish County judge released Long on her own recognizance despite her extensive criminal history that includes jail time for burglary and meth.
The fact a judge released Long to eventually drive again angered many people who posted on KIROTV.com.
But Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe is not surprised Long was released at all.
Reporter Amy Clancy: "Why wasn't she in jail pending trial?"
Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe: “Because the public will get exactly the amount of justice that it can afford.”
Roe's office has been commended by national traffic safety organizations for its aggressive prosecution of drunken drivers. Still, Roe was bothered by the state's tougher new DUI law, recently passed in the legislature.
“I had some degree of anger at the proposed DUI legislation this year, specifically because, as often happens, there was no provision whatsoever for additional prosecuting attorneys to deal with the workload,” he told Clancy.
Roe says an addendum to the yet-to-be signed state budget will pay for 11 additional deputy prosecutors for DUI enforcement statewide. But even with the extra help, the number of DUI prosecutors will still be about half the number of DUI public defenders, according to Roe.
In order to hold more drunken drivers accountable, Roe says more prosecutors are needed to try the cases. He also says more jail space is needed to house them, if people like Tory Long are to be kept behind bars until trial.
“There is a finite amount of room in the inn. Judges could not conceivably order that everybody suspected of a crime like this be held,” said Roe. “I suspect that most people charged with, or suspected of a crime like eluding or DUI, they’re not going to be held in jail.”
Tory Long won't be sent back to jail unless she is convicted. Her DUI trial is scheduled for later this year.
Read the original story: KIRO 7 Investigators obtained hidden camera video capturing a crime in action
Why wasn't DUI suspect who forced closure of 529 Bridge in jail?
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