Washington Impaired Driving Laws: Complexities and Challenges

"Washington's Impaired Driving Laws: Complexities And Challenges"

Report for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission Richard D. Van Wagenen - October 2006

In 2004, an independent assessment of Washington's efforts to reduce impaired driving found that our laws were unnecessarily complex and there was too much local variation in enforcement and the courts. The assessment team also identified specific concerns relating to the "zero tolerance" law for minors, absence of sobriety checkpoints, use of portable breath testing devices, admissibility of breath test results, use of blood tests as an alternative to breath tests, paperwork involved in arrests, deferrals of prosecution, the non-felony status of impaired driving, and the effect of liability risk on probation systems.

This report examines in more detail the concerns identified by the assessment team and others. It is based on review of our laws, interviews with those who participated in the assessment as well as other stakeholders, and observations.

Read the full report here:

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