Even with tougher punishments and ad campaigns, drunk drivers continue to plague our roads. People need to know that when you drive drunk and put lives at risk, it will not be tolerated. Strong sentences aren’t the only answer; we need new solutions to make our roads safer and to save more lives. For several years, Roger Goodman has worked closely with the Washington State Patrol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, judges and prosecutors to come up with innovative ways to hold drunk drivers accountable.
He has passed a dozen bills in this area, and the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission has reported that his legislation has resulted in a 44 percent decline in alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries on Washington’s roads in the last seven years, making Washington the model for the nation. Roger’s legislation has aimed at known drunk drivers, installing breathalyzers, or what are called “ignition interlock devices” in DUI offenders’ cars. If the driver has been drinking, the car won’t start and can’t get on the road. The DUI offenders must pay for the device themselves, sparing the taxpayers any expense. Eighty percent of drivers with a suspended license drive anyway. By installing the alcohol-detection devices, we allow them to get a special driver’s license, so they can continue to drive to work or school. These are known drunk drivers and we’ve been able to make sure they’re driving sober, saving several hundreds of lives in the process.
Roger’s DUI and road safety bills enacted into law include: HB 2700 (Chapter 203, Laws of 2016), a significant reform of DUI laws, expanding alcohol monitoring, ignition interlock requirements, vehicular homicide penalties and license suspensions. HB 2314 (Chapter 213, Laws of 2016, enacted as companion SB 6160), criminalizing the manufacture, sale and installation of counterfeit and defective automobile safety airbags. HB 2728 (Chapter 100, Laws of 2014, enacted as amendment to SB 6413), holding repeat DUI offenders in jail after arrest, punishing the tampering with ignition interlock devices, et al. HB 1482 (Chapter 35, Laws of 2013, enacted as companion SB 5912), a major reform of DUI laws strengthening the felony DUI law, ignition interlock requirements, DUI courts, alcohol monitoring and treatment programs, among many other provisions. HB 2443 (Chapter 183, Laws of 2012), another significant update to the ignition interlock program, including a major expansion of Washington State Patrol’s enforcement capability. HB 2302 (Chapter 42, Laws of 2012), a child endangerment statute requested by the Washington State Patrol, increasing penalties for driving drunk with children in the vehicle. HB 1789 (Chapter 293, Laws of 2011), another major expansion of the ignition interlock program and further toughening of other DUI penalties. HB 1017 (Chapter 167, Laws of 2011, enacted as companion SB 5000), requiring a mandatory 12-hour impound of DUI offenders’ cars, preventing drunk drivers from retrieving their vehicles while they are still drunk. HB 2742 (Chapter 269, Laws of 2010), a major bill expanding the ignition interlock program and toughening other DUI penalties. HB 2466 (Chapter 268, Laws of 2010), a bill requested by the Washington State Patrol to ensure the reliability of ignition interlock technologies. HB 1732 (enacted in the 2009 Transportation Budget), securing a revolving fund, financed by DUI offenders, to pay for the ignition interlock devices of indigent DUI offenders. HB 3254 (Chapter 282, Laws of 2008), a landmark measure, holding DUI offenders accountable through the establishment of the new Ignition Interlock License program. HB 2130 (Chapter 474, Laws of 2007), strengthening the felony DUI law by properly accounting for prior DUI offenses.