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Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Washington state lawmakers reconsider severity of DUI laws

Impound vehicles on site

Our family enjoyed the Sunday Seattle Times story about our expanding and under-addressed DUI problem [“Do state DUI laws go far enough?” front page, March 31].

The solution is a very simple one and is also the same solution to freeway overcrowding. The Times previously reported that about 20 percent of the drivers either do not have a valid license or auto insurance; both are required by law in Washington state. The simple solution to DUI is to impound the driver’s vehicle on site and let a judge determine if and when the person has taken appropriate steps to prove he or she has the ability to drive on our roadways again.

The same strategy can be applied to folks without licenses or insurance. Impound the vehicle on site and give the offending party 30 days to produce documents or forfeit the vehicle.

By taking this type of approach there would be:

• Instantly fewer drunken drivers on the roads;

• Sustained reduction of invalid, dangerous drivers on the roads by likely the same estimate percentage;

• Reduction in insurance premiums, as everyone will be insured or not be driving;

Joel Patience, Edmonds

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