Senate budget committee agrees to advance Padden DUI bill

Today the state Senate Ways and Means Committee voted to advance Sen. Mike Padden’s bill to extend the ‘look-back’ in DUI cases, allowing courts to consider convictions over the preceding 15 years when preparing to hand down a sentence.

“DUI is a completely preventable crime, and I’m very encouraged by the continued support for this next step in preventing it,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley and the Republican leader of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. “By increasing the look-back period, this bill would have serious consequences for those who refuse to stop driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; I really wish judges could consider all of a repeat offender’s DUI offenses, but this bill moves us in the right direction.”

Senate Bill 5299 would allow more repeat offenders to be sentenced to prison terms. Washington makes the fourth DUI conviction a felony, but by law courts may consider only convictions within the last 10 years.

The bill now moves to the Rules Committee, the final stop before the measure can be pulled to the Senate floor for a full vote of the chamber.