Four. That’s how many DUI convictions 48-year-old James R. Door had in the past ten years. And just this Tuesday he was arrested for driving under the influence yet again, marking his fifth drunk driving charge and his 11th felony conviction. Prosecutors are calling Door “a poster child for felony DUI law.” This last arrest occurred in Puyallup. An officer notice that Door had turned without using his signal and pulled him over. The officer could immediately tell that he was intoxicated by looking at his eyes and smelling his breath. Once he opened his mouth to talk, it became even clearer. Door’s words were coming out sloppily and he told the officer that he had “probably” been drinking “too much.” Door then failed a field sobriety test that was given to him, but then did not cooperate when asked to take a Breathalyzer test. A search warrant to draw blood was sought instead.
Washington State’s DUI laws are currently under thorough reconsideration and review after all of the recent DUI fatalities that have occurred in Western Washington over the past couple of months. Mark Mullan, who killed a couple and critically injured their daughter-in-law and newborn grandson in North Seattle in March, was also a repeat drunk driver. He, like Door, was supposed to have a court-ordered interlock device installed in his car. Both men did not.
As incidents like these keep occurring, more lives are threatened and taken, it is clear that Washington needs to step up its game when it comes to punishing drunk drivers. What do you think will keep them off of our roads? How far should lawmakers go? Is any point “too far”?