As a Seattle DUI Attorney, I've been watching the news, reading the papers, and listening to the radio (Ron and Don, Dori Monson, I'm talking to you here) in shock and awe.
Look - what happened to the Schultes (hit by Mark Mullen) and Morgan Williams (hit by Michael Robertson) is tragic. Truly tragic. My heart breaks for every family touched by this (including the Mullens and the Robertsons).
That being said - Representative Roger Goodman (D) is reviving HB 1482 in the House. Part of this bill would require that people arrested for DUI not be allowed to get their car out of impound without an interlock device installed on it.
Really Representative Goodman?
Let's start with logistics. How does one get an interlock installed on their vehicle when it's IMPOUNDED?
Now - let's move past that. These are people who are arrested. For the most part, not even charged yet. They've seen no judge, been in no court, and probable cause has not been determined. In other words - they are innocent.
Remember that part? Innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? (Unless is far more appropriate than until)
But instead, you are suggesting taking away their money (interlocks will cost to install and maintain) and their ability to drive to work, court, treatment, etc. without even an opportunity to be heard by a judge. And furthermore, what happens if they don't get an interlock? Impound just keeps their cars?
And what if they just go home and drive their wives cars?
Look - let's get serious here Rep. Goodman. Are DUIs a problem? Absolutely. But is more legislation the ansswer? Not unless it's SMART legislation.
Extra enforcement troopers - good idea.
Automatic interlock - bad idea.
Reducing the threshold of felony DUI - arguably good idea.
Roadside sobriety checkpoints - atrociously bad, and completely unconstitional idea (see Seattle v. Messiani).
And remembering that even the accused have rights that are jealously guarded by the State and Federal Constitution? Best idea yet.
The reality is that you have no right under any constitution to be prosecuted. You do have a right to be presumed innocent and defended.
That means DUI Defense Lawyers, like me, are in the business of law enforcement.