drunk driving

A former Washington State University student who fled to Ireland after a deadly drunk driving crash has been released from prison.

Morten Gade / Flickr

After four years of testing and assessment, the Washington State Patrol rolled out its new breathalyzer machines Tuesday.

Trooper Mel Sterkel was running the new Draeger Alcotest 95-10 through its paces.

"And now the second sample," Sterkel says.

A tone in the background is the machine taking the breath sample as the media's cameras click and whirr. He breathes into a tube for about 5 seconds. That's enough to provide 1.5 liters of air, the minimum needed for a valid sample.

Austin Jenkins

It’s been nearly a year since a repeat drunk driver caused a horrific accident in north Seattle.

A new mother, her 10-day old baby and her in-laws were run down as they crossed the street. The grandparents were killed, the mother and baby critically injured. That tragedy and other high profile drunk driving crashes prompted Washington lawmakers to authorize a pilot program to test repeat drunk drivers twice-a-day to see if they’ve been drinking. But that 24/7 Sobriety program has run into legal and financial snags and now two of the pilot agencies have dropped out.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and lawmakers want to move swiftly to crack down on repeat drunk drivers. This after two recent high profile tragedies in Seattle. But Thursday they got some pushback from judges, prosecutors, civil libertarians and even the restaurant industry.

It’s a classic case of the devil’s in the details. Take ignition interlock devices. There’s a proposal to install them at the impound lot after a drunk driver is arrested. But the installers say that isn’t technically feasible and lawyers question whether it’s legal prior to a conviction.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Repeat drunk drivers in Washington may soon carry a scarlet letter driver license and have to wear an alcohol detection bracelet. Those are just two of the requirements contained in DUI legislation proposed Tuesday in Olympia.

The bipartisan plan follows two recent drunk driving tragedies in the Seattle area.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Recent tragedies in Seattle have triggered an emergency discussion of drunk driving laws. Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday it’s not acceptable that it takes a fifth DUI in ten years before a driver is charged with a felony. But changing that policy would be costly.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Jay Inslee is demanding a renewed crackdown on drunk drivers. This after recent tragedies in the Seattle area.

The Democrat Tuesday called for more DUI patrols, more resources for prosecutors and stricter rules for ignition interlock devices.

“We've got to understand a drinking driver is just as dangerous as someone out there with a bomb in their car because that’s what they are," the governor said. "They’re rolling time bombs and that’s why I believe we need to be much more aggressive.”

No Consensus On Marijuana Blood Tests

Feb 7, 2013

Arrests and prosecutions for driving under the influence of marijuana do not appear to be going up or down. Voters legalized recreational marijuana as of December sixth, and set a strict new standard for how much marijuana can be in your blood, if you're stopped for impaired driving.

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo apologized profusely Friday after pleading guilty to drunken driving. A judge outside Washington, D.C. ordered the Republican from Idaho to pay a $250 fine and take an alcohol safety class. Crapo will also lose his driver's license for a year.

Crapo was arrested two days before Christmas in Alexandria, Va. In statement after his court appearance, Crapo said politicians should be held to a higher standard.