Tougher DUI law requires towing of car

first_imgOLYMPIA— Starting today, drivers can expect to have their vehicles towed when police officers arrest them on suspicion of DUI. A new state law requiring officers to tow and impound drunken drivers’ vehicles for 12 hours went into effect at midnight.“This is about making sure that impaired drivers don’t return to their cars and drive again before they’ve sobered up,” State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement issued by the WSP. “This isn’t about trying to punish someone for driving drunk. If they’re found guilty, that will become the court’s job.” Legislators intended to make roads safer when they drafted the law establishing the mandatory 12-hour vehicle holding period earlier this year. WSP Sgt. JJ Gundermann said it will keep impaired drivers away from the wheel after they have been arrested.“Our main concern is to get the impaired drivers off the road and make sure that they don’t re-offend within that 12-hour period,” Gundermann said.The law bars officers from letting a sober friend, relative or any other passenger take over the car for the inebriated driver at the scene of a DUI arrest. However, there are a few exceptions enabling someone to retrieve the vehicle from the impound lot before the end of the 12-hour holding period. If the vehicle belongs to someone else, such as a business, the owner can pick it up. This option could come into play with rental cars, noted WSP Trooper Ryan Tanner.last_img

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