Tacoma, WA- A felony DUI bill in Washington State is one step closer to becoming a reality now that it was passed by the state Senate and now moves onto the House floor for a vote.

The legislation sponsored by Rep. Mike Padden would make a fourth DUI charge a felony if it occurred within in a ten year period, according to the Spokesman-Review. Currently, a person must be charged with five DUIs before it is considered a felony. That means stiffer penalties for individuals with four or more DUI convictions, including a 13 to 17-month jail sentence.

The bill is expected to pass through the House although it failed last year, the Spokesman-Review reported.

More and more states are moving towards treating repeat DUI offenses like felonies in hopes that is will curtail fatal DUI accidents. Such law might have stopped Mark Mullan, a drunken driver who killed two pedestrians as they crossed a residential street in Seattle in March of 2013.

On that day, Dennis and Judy Schulte went for a walk with their daughter-in-law Karina and her 10 day-old son Elias. As the family crossed a street in, driver plowed right into the four family members. Dennis and Judy were killed instantly. Karina and Elias suffered severe injuries which they survived.

Mullan told police he didn’t see the family crossing the street, but police soon discovered he was impaired.

During their investigation, police discovered that the driver, Mark Mullan, was intoxicated. He smelled of alcohol, had blood shot eyes and later registered a 0.22 blood alcohol content.

In the days after the accident, police soon learned that Mullan had a history of substance abuse with five DUI charges under his belt. He was driving on a suspended license at the time of the accident. Mullan denied drinking that day but later relented and told police he had one beer earlier on.

At least half of individuals who are charged with their first DUI will learn from their mistake and never do it again. The legal headaches, potential jail sentences along with the personal and financial costs are enough for a person to not drive impaired ever again. But not all people learn from their mistakes.

Any person needs to retain a Tacoma DUI attorney to help them with their defense and that is especially true of repeat DUI offenders since they could be facing a felony. With a strong defense it is possible for a repeat DUI offenders to avoid or lessen some of the more dire consequences of a conviction and keep their DUI conviction from holding them back or affecting their future

The Washington DUI attorneys are USAttorneys know the consequences you are facing and will work tirelessly on your defense. They are dedicated professionals with the goal of minimizing the consequences of a first or repeat DUI offense. Call one of our outstanding attorneys today so you can decide the best way for you to approach your DUI defense.

You can also visit the Law Office of Eric M. Mark if you have questions regarding a criminal matter in the state of New Jersey.