After seeing thousands of severe Washington auto accidents and working with the victims of personal injury cases, I am always shocked that there is actually opposition to some of the simplest and most practical drunk driving laws. A drunk driving bill that is set to soon be signed into law, has generated some of this unnecessary opposition.
A new drunk driving bill is heading off to Olympia to get Govenor Christine Gregoire’s signature. The bill, called Hailey’s Law, will require a 12-hour impound of all vehicles pulled over for drunk driving.
The bill was named after Hailey Huntley a woman who suffered severe personal injuries in drunk driving accident 4 years ago. Janine Parker hit Huntley’s vehicle head on after she crossed the center line on Whatcom County highway. Parker was driving drunk, but this was not the first time her intoxication was noticed that night, shortly before this horrific accident Parker had been pulled over for intoxicated driving and was escorted home by the police officer. But instead of staying home and sleeping off the alcohol, Parker called a taxi cab, went back to her car and drove again, leading to Huntley’s injuries.
This bill will require all vehicles pulled over for DUI to be impounded for at least 12 hours, costing the driver around $200 to get it back, and the only way for it to be removed from the impound lot before the 12 hour mark is if the vehicle is registered to another owner and they themselves come to release it.
Opponents to the bill claims it is an excessive cost, but really you have to ask yourself what is the cost of an innocent person’s life and how many hundreds of thousands of dollars has Huntley been forced to spend on surgeries to treat the massive injuries from the crash? I think a $200 impound bill is nothing compared to what is put at risk by giving a drunk driver the keys.