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Proposal to Increase Penalty for Drunken Driving Homicide

Updated on: 11/8/2019

Currently, Washington State serves a conviction of killing while driving drunk that is roughly the same as robbing someone at gunpoint. Lawmakers, prosecutors and the families of victims killed in these tragic circumstances say the current laws are far too lenient.

The proposal brought to the state legislature would more than double the penalty for those who kill while driving drunk. A similar bill was proposed last year and failed to make it through the last legislature. Financial concerns were the primary cause of the failure. At a time when the state is facing major budgetary cutbacks, the cost of extra jail time was too much.

In 2010, Washington State had 170 alcohol related fatalities. Washington State is currently ranked 44th out of the 51 (D.C. being ranked as separate entry) states for the percentage of total traffic deaths that are DUI related. 37% of traffic fatalities were DUI related in Washington State.

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