OLYMPIA — Ultimately, the so-called “most aggressive” DUI crackdown in state history proved too expensive to actually become law.
Senate Bill 5912, unanimously approved Wednesday, would require faster charges and an initial jail stint for repeat offenders. But it would not increase mandatory minimum penalties or change the fact that a DUI in Washington state is not counted as a felony until it is committed five times in 10 years.
Supporters said those provisions would have cost up to $300 million over the next three years. The amended bill is estimated to cost about $2 million a year.
The state House plans to pass it today, and Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign it soon thereafter.
“This is what we can get support for this session and what can be financed,” said David Postman, an Inslee spokesman. “It’s going to cut down on impaired driving in this state, and you can’t walk away from something like that just because it’s not everything. It’s too important an issue to do that.”
Postman and other supporters described the bill as a targeted approach to a difficult public-safety problem.