Monday, April 8, 2013

Prevent drunk driving -- save lives

Lately, our local news has been full of disasters involving drunk drivers. In just one week, two grandparents were killed and their daughter-in-law and grandchild gravely injured when they were struck by a truck, and a mother was killed on her way to work by a car heading in the wrong direction on SR 520.
The drivers responsible for these incidents are both accused of being drunk at the time – and both had prior arrests for impaired driving on their records.

In response to these tragedies, Rep. Roger Goodman, founder and chair of the Washington Impaired Driving Working Group, is holding an emergency meeting Tuesday, April 9th. There, lawmakers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement and judges will discuss smart solutions to stop impaired drivers.

Some policies up for discussion will certainly be:

·Sobriety checkpoints.
·Decreasing the number of impaired driving offenses before someone is charged with  a felony DUI from 5 to 3.
·Immediate arrest and jail time after offense.
·Mandatory impoundment and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device upon arrest.
·Spike strips on freeway on-ramps to prevent cars from driving the wrong way.
·Better enforcement for our current DUI laws through increased funding for the State’s Target Zero Plan.

Washington state is a national leader in effective DUI Prevention legislation. Since 2006, we have reduced deaths and injuries on our roadways by 34 percent.
But we clearly must do more. Regardless of what happens at tomorrow’s meeting, it is certain that our legislators will continue to push forward with smarter laws to prevent Impaired Driving and save lives in Washington state.

Read this story in Spanish.