Haugen's DUI impound bill clears Senate

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen that gives police the power to impound the vehicles of drivers cited for driving under the influence.

The bill passed by a 47-0 vote Thursday.

“This addresses a serious threat to public safety,” said Haugen, a Camano Island Democrat and the chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

“Under our existing laws, it’s possible for someone to be cited for drunken driving, return to their car while still intoxicated, and resume driving. It happens, and it’s a danger to other drivers,” she said.

Under the provisions of the bill, known as Hailey’s Law, the vehicle of the cited motorist could not be released from impound until 12 hours after the vehicle was seized.

The bill was inspired by the case of Hailey Huntley, who was hit head-on by a woman who had been cited for DUI but was released, caught a taxi back to her vehicle, and resumed driving.

Huntley survived the crash, but suffered a broken pelvis, leg and knee, a crushed foot and collapsed lungs.

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