The Court’s holding is pretty simple: to prove a “prior offense” under RCW 46.61.5055(14)(a)(xii), prosecutors have to establish that a defendant has a prior conviction for DUI, or that a defendant has a prior conviction for reckless driving or negligent driving in the first degree if the State had originally charged the defendant with DUI in these two cases. “That is all the felony DUI statute requires,” the Court held.
You’re responsible for your own actions. Free will. Don’t worry … this isn’t the start of an esoteric philosophy lesson. This is the fundamental building block of the criminal justice system.
In Washington, driving is considered a privilege, not a right. That probably seems odd to most people. No one really thinks of driving like going on a Hawaiian vacation, but under the law, that’s exactly how it’s treated. Something you that you earn, not something that you’re entitled. That’s why, if you’re arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Washington, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your driver’s license immediately.
1. A felony DUI trial is a two-part trial In Washington, a DUI is normally a gross misdemeanor, punishable up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. If you have 3 or more prior DUI-related offenses within a 10 year period, however, the State can charge you with felony DUI, a class B felony punishable up to 10 years in state prison.