New Tougher DUI Laws Take Effect

Two new laws that became effective on June 10, 2004 will impose more punitive measures even upon first-offense DUIs and will skew court proceedings in favor of the prosecution, according to Jon Scott Fox, who was interviewed along with his law partners by the Seattle Times. The first law, Substitute House Bill 2660, requires ignition interlock devices upon almost anyone who is arrested for DUI. The second law requires the court to view evidence relating to evidentiary use of breath test results "in a light most favorable to the prosecution."

As to the ignition interlock law, Mr. Fox said: "There is no therapeutic reason why an individual who is shown to have no problem with alcohol, no prior record and a low breath-test reading" - either below or just above the 0.08 legal limit - "should have to have the ignition interlock, other than it helps the ignition interlock providers."

Regarding the evidentiary law, Mr. Fox said, "We see it as our duty to challenge this law. A fair-minded person is going to be troubled by a law that is telling a judge to be biased" toward the prosecution."

For the complete Times' article, please see: Tough DUI laws take effect. For a detailed appraisal of the new DUI laws, please see Mr. Fox's article, Harsher DUI Laws for 2004.

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