Dennis and Judy Schulte, their daughter-in-law, and newborn grandson were taking a leisurely afternoon walk in North Seattle when they were suddenly and tragically hit by a drunk driver. Both Dennis and Judy were killed and their daughter-in-law and newborn grandson were in critical condition after the horrific DUI accident. The driver, Mark W. Mullan, had a preliminary blood alcohol level of three times the legal limit and has had a long history of drunk driving. While the laws have stiffened for drunk drivers over the past 15 years, this latest accident has many in Washington wondering if drunk drivers are penalized enough.
Washington laws may penalize drunk drivers by stripping them of their driver’s license and assessing them with fines and jail time. DUI offenders may also receive enhanced penalties, such as ignition interlock devices and mandatory prison time. Yet while Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that Washington has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, we may be able to do more. According to statistics compiled by Washington’s Department of Transportation, alcohol was involved in 37.4 percent of the state’s fatal crashes and 6.2 percent of all traffic collisions in 2011.
“The new DUI laws have made a difference and things are coming down, but they’re not coming down as fast as fatalities generally,” said Bob Calkins, a Washington State Patrol spokesman. “Clearly we have more work to do.”
What is most concerning is that one in five DUI drivers have multiple DUI charges, and Washington legislators don’t quite know what to do about these repeat offenders. Lawmakers are hoping to make DUI a felony on the third conviction rather than on the fifth, but whether this will help to prevent repeat drunk driving offenses remains to be seen.
Washington Drunk Drivers put Seattle Drivers at Risk
Drunk drivers continue to put Seattle drivers at risk, causing catastrophic and deadly accidents. When this occurs, injured victims and their families need a skilled and experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer on their side. DUI accidents often cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries can lead to a lifetime of disability, pain, and suffering. Without the right legal representation, you could find yourself unable to pay the necessary medical bills you need to fully recover.
Seattle Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
At Phillips Law Firm, our Seattle personal injury attorneys are ready to fight for you and your family. If you or someone you love is injured in an accident with a DUI driver, our experienced Seattle injury lawyers can help. Call us at the Phillips Law Firm today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at 1-800-708-6000 today.