Four WA State Democratic legislators want to see WA state's blood alcohol content for DUI drivers drop dramatically.

   Proposed WA bill copies Utah law

According to The Center Square, and legislative sources, House Democrats including 44th District state Rep. Brandy Donaghy of Mill Creek, Liz Berry of Seattle, Timm Ormsby of Spokane, and Lauren Davis of Shoreline have introduced HB (House Bill) 2196.

For the past 21 years, WA drivers know if they were pulled over for suspected DUI, and blew at or above a .08 percent on the Blood Alcohol Content breathalyzer, they could be charged with DUI.

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Now, this bill would copy the state of Utah, and lower that threshold to 05.

According to these legislators, when Utah adopted this newer lower level, they saw their fatal crash rate drop 20 percent, and fatality rates go down 18.3 percent.

These legislators say WA state had its deadliest year for fatal crashes with 540 last year.

If the bill passes, it will take effect July 1st, 2025, with a two-year evaluation period studied by the Washington State Insititute for Public Policy. They will examine data and see if lowering the BAC rate had a significant or desired effect on DUI-related and other fatal crashes.

Currently, the WA DUI for cannabis-impaired driving is considered if a driver's blood shows a concentration of 5.0 or higher of THC.  The bill would also call for stiffer civil penalties for vendors or businesses who serve alcohol, under what is called the Alcohol Beverage Control title.

No word was given about what, if any, changes would occur to the THC levels for cannabis-impaired driving.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff


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