All first-time drunken-driving offenders must install an alcohol-detecting interlock device in their cars in order to can get their licenses back, under Washington State Auto law.
But, State Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, wants to change that laws, because offenders often drive illegally for months or even a year or more without a valid license or the device, and that goes into effect only when drunken-driving offenders reapply for licenses.
He has proposed a bill in the Legislature that would create a "provisional" license that would have the locks installed soon after someone is arrested.
Goodman says that while 25% of drunken drivers get their licenses suspended, 75 percent drive anyway and many never get caught.
This bill is modeled after a law in New Mexico. "We want to create this new driver's license that allows them to drive only if you put an interlock on your car," Goodman said.
The ignition-interlock bill is a major drunken-driving proposal before the Legislature this year. But it is not the only one. The other, which is more controversial, is a bill sponsored by Rep. Patricia Lantz, D-Gig Harbor, and endorsed by Gov. Christine Gregoire. It would authorize police to set up sobriety spot checks. This is a practice that hasn’t been seen in Washington since it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1988.