Washington state legislature approves making 4th DUI offense a felony

Washington Superior Court judge pleads guilty to DUI
Photo: John Phelan / CC BY-SA 3.0

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The Legislature has approved a measure that would make a fourth driving under the influence offense a felony in Washington state.

The Democratic-controlled House passed the measure on an 85-11 vote Thursday. It now awaits Gov. Jay Inslee’s approval to be signed into law.

The measure would allow prosecutors to file felony charges if a person gets a fourth DUI within 10 years. Under the new law, offenders would be sent to prison for 13 to 17 months, rather than serve shorter sentences in county jails.

Another clause in the bill says offenders must also have mandatory supervision after their sentence and pay an additional $50 fine to help fund organizations that offer education programs to reduce driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.