When someone is studying DUI laws in Washington there is a term that will come up and that is “escalating penalties”. What is usually also being discussed is whether the escalating penalties have been effective in curbing repeat offenses or DUI related fatalities. The phrase is actually used and discussed within two contexts so it can get a little confusing.
The first context you may have discovered if you have needed to deal with a second or greater DUI arrest. The more DUI’s that you get the penalties that you face increase. If you are facing a 5th or higher DUI charge the crime is then classified as a felony which would mean prison time if you were convicted. This is what is often meant by “escalating penalties”.
What can also be meant is the history of DUI law in the first place. This context of the term “escalating penalties” can also affect first time offenders. Continue reading