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Prosecutors could seek increased DUI sentences under Fain bill

Sen. Joe Fain’s legislation allowing DUI prosecutors to seek increased sentences for repeat offenders was approved unanimously today by the Senate.  - Courtesy photo
Sen. Joe Fain’s legislation allowing DUI prosecutors to seek increased sentences for repeat offenders was approved unanimously today by the Senate.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Reporter

Prosecutors of driving-under-the-influence cases could seek more appropriate sentences under a bill passed by the Senate today from Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn, 47th Legislative District).

The legislation expands the types of prior offenses that can be used in sentencing, giving a more comprehensive picture of an offender's criminal past.

"Keeping dangerous drivers off the roads is an essential public safety priority for all Washingtonians," Fain said. "Prosecutors must have the tools to pursue sentences that address the severity of past actions under the influence of alcohol or drugs. By allowing the courts to look at a broader pattern of behavior, we can make progress toward keeping families safe."

Fain, a lawyer, spent time in 2013 between legislative sessions working as a prosecutor on DUI cases in King County. While there he reviewed how current law was working and identified areas for improvement.

"King County has an incredible team of public servants doing great work to keep people safe and criminals off the streets," Fain said. "The Legislature made great progress in 2013 combating DUI offenses and we'll continue putting together the best program to improve safety now and in the future."

The bill received unanimous support from the Senate and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. The Legislature is in the 33rd day of a 60-day session.

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