More than one DUI related bill has been filed this legislative session.  SB 5032 is a new take on a nil that has been introduced, without success, in two previous sessions.

4th District Senator Mike Padden R- Spokane Valley has previously sponsored SB 5054 that would have extended the courts ability to lookback at someone convicted of felony driving under the influence's record to 15 years instead of the current 10 years.  SB 5054 passed the Senate in 2021 and 2022, but did not pass the House.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

What is Different With SB 5032?

SB 5032 adds a treatment option into the equation for the offender by creating a drug offender sentencing alternative (DOSA) for DUI.  A person convicted of a DUI could be eligible for DOSA if they meet certain criteria laid out in the bill.

  1. The conviction is not for felony DUI and doesn't include a violent or sex offense, or an enhancement for a firearm or deadly weapon.
  2. No prior sex offense conviction on the offender's record and no conviction in the 10 years prior to the current DUI of a violent offense.
  3. the offender is not subject to a federal deportation order
  4. the offense is a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, a drug
    violation, or involved a small quantity of the particular substance as
    determined by the judge

Sen. Padden has bipartisan support for SB 5032 along with the backing of the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.  The bill has moved out of the Senate Law and Justice Commitee and now heads to the Senate Transportation Committee for their consideration.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reported a 20 year high in road deaths in 2021.  Of the 674 traffic related deaths in 2021, 272 were drug impaired related and 155 were alcohol impaired related.  The WTSC has estimaed 745 traffic related deaths in 2022 with the full data due to be released in the coming months.

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