DUI

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

The Washington State Patrol is arresting more drivers who test positive for marijuana than in previous years. That’s according to the latest statistics from the state toxicology lab.

The Washington State Patrol said that in the first half of 2013, 745 drivers tested positive for “active THC” from using marijuana. In recent years, about 1,000 drivers have tested positive for marijuana over the course of the year. So if the 2013 trend holds steady, this year would see a sizable increase in the number of marijuana-impaired drivers arrested. 

Should Washington Enact Sobriety Checkpoints?

Nov 18, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jory

Ross Reynolds talks with State Representative Roger Goodman and Jennifer Shaw, deputy director of the ACLU of Washington, about the pros, cons and legality of sobriety checkpoints along Washington's roadways.

Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.

It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.

A Smell Once Forbidden

Washington’s new DUI law borrows an idea from South Dakota. Starting in January, as many as three Washington counties and two cities will pilot a 24/7 alcohol monitoring program. That could mean offenders wearing high-tech bracelets.

Ignition interlock devices are standard these days for drunk drivers. But there are ways around them. So technology to the rescue.

Second-time drunk drivers in Washington will go directly to jail. They’ll also be required to get an ignition interlock device within five days.

Those are just two of the provisions in a sweeping new DUI measure signed into law Thursday. But already there are calls for even tougher penalties in the future.

The bill signing ceremony took place at a State Patrol field office. Governor Jay Inslee was flanked by police, prosecutors, lawmakers and victims.

Flickr Photo/HeatherHeatherHeather (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Summer’s almost here and more people are headed outside: that means more accidents. Statistics show that more road collisions happen during the dry season. Each year, about two million Americans are injured or killed in traffic crashes. For those who survive, picking up the pieces can be hard.

Flickr Photo/Greg Matthews

Correction: The broadcast version of this story states that the Fourth Amendment protects against illegal search and seizure, when in fact it protects against unreasonable search and seizure. 

Washington’s lawmakers are debating new penalties for driving under the influence during a special legislative session beginning Monday.

Photo courtesy of David Ossorio

After 20 years in the business, Lenny Padayao has seen it many times: Alcoholics gaming the system to avoid addressing their disease. “The alcoholic, they’ll do everything they’re required to do by cheating,” he says. “You have to keen in on these guys, because if you don’t you’ll never catch them.” 

Flickr user/Alberto Cabello

The Ramifications Of Stricter DUI Laws
According to the state patrol there are 40,000 people arrested for DUIs each year in Washington state. Many are first time offenders.  Some are addicts.  Lawmakers and citizens are calling for stricter DUI laws.  KUOW’s Patricia Murphy explains the impact on the working poor,  the cottage industries built on DUI convictions and how offenders are able to game the system.

Every Day Recipes For Living Gluten-Free
Shauna Ahern, the Gluten-Free Girl, says gluten-free cooking can be fast, delicious and healthy. She has written a new cookbook of everyday gluten-free recipes. While eating gluten-free might seem daunting at first, Shauna and her husband Daniel Ahern have put together a book full of recipes for a diverse palate.

Pianist And Composer Chick Corea
Pianist and composer Chick Corea has touched almost all the musical bases during a career that has spanned almost five decades.  From avant garde to bebop to Latin fusion, Corea has experimented and mastered multiple jazz styles and has won a loyal following of fans and critics.

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Washington state lawmakers are poised to impose tougher laws against drivers caught driving drunk. They were moved to action following two fatal crashes involving drivers with previous DUIs.

Ravenna Blog Photo/Rebecca Nelson

After over a month of silence, the family of the victims in the Wedgwood drunk driving accident spoke today. On March 25, a drunk driver hit Dan Schulte’s family as they were walking in the Wedgwood neighborhood.

KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

It’s been one month since a fatal car crash in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood killed two pedestrians near Eckstein Middle School. The collision also severely injured two people, including an infant, who was 10-days-old at the time.

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.

The defendant charged in the recent  death of two pedestrians in Seattle’s Wedgewood neighborhood has faced DUIs in the past. Like thousands of other families, Mark Mullan's family has struggle with his addiction.