After hearing all of the news stories about repeat drunk drivers causing horrific accidents lately, people are wondering how in the world these criminals are still out on the road and in the driver’s seat. Mark Mullan, the man who was reportedly drunk when he ran over a family in Wedgwood last month, was supposed to have an ignition interlock device installed in his pickup truck and was driving with a suspended license. But there was no device installed, and his suspended license did not stop him from driving drunk. The consequences were repulsive and deadly.
Every year, Washington State sees 40,000 DUI arrests. But shrinking budgets have led to dead ends for law enforcement. People are still driving around with invalid licenses and not getting caught. Once they do, it is often too late. That’s why a public outcry has been loud and clear in recent weeks, and why lawmakers in Olympia are revising House Bill 1482. According to washingtonvotes.org, the bill “modifies state law to allow municipalities, in addition to counties, to operate DUI courts. This act creates sentencing limits available to DUI courts. This act creates sentencing categories dependent on blood alcohol levels.” In simpler terms, it would make it much more difficult for drunk drivers to get off easy and to continue driving.
Some ideas that have been developed in Olympia include putting monitoring bracelets on convicted drunk drivers so that the correct people will be alerted when they drink. Additionally, they want to make the regulation of ignition interlock devices, like the one that was supposed to be installed in Mullan’s truck, stricter.
Only time will tell what changes will be made, but this is a huge step in the right direction. One that many argue, is long overdue.