April 30, 2012: A car swerved off the road in Redmond Friday night and crashed into a home on…read more
March 18, 2012: Drunk drivers who kill someone in a car accident will now go to prison longer. The Washington State legislature has passed a bill that basically triples the jail time for vehicular homicide. It is currently 2-3 years, but the sentencing range will increase to 6-8 years after the bill takes effect in June.
I say, “Bravo!” I wish the sentencing range were even longer, but this is a great step in the right direction. Far too many people die in DWI car accidents in Washington State every year. (The number has declined significantly in the last two decades, due to stricter enforcement, more public awareness and a change of attitudes. But it is still over 200 every year. And that doesn’t include the many thousands who are injured in this senseless carnage.) Washington State still has one of the highest DWI car accident fatality rates in the nation. The number must come down, and this bill will help accomplish that.
A related matter that I have been rethinking lately: If Washington State legalizes marijuana, will that cause a significant increase in car accident fatalities? It’s an important question that we will vote on this fall. I’ll address that issue in a post in the near future.