Archive for July, 2013

New Laws in Washington State

July 31st, 2013 No comments

Along with the many new alcohol laws that went into effect on Sunday, July 28th, 2013, several other laws went into effect as well.

House Bill 1341 – Wrongful Convictions  – This new law will allow people who were wrongfully convicted of a crime in Washington State to file a claim for damages against the state. You would have to show that the wrongful conviction was overturned based on significant evidence of innocence.

A wrongfully convicted person would receive $50,000 for each year of imprisonment, including any time spent awaiting trial, plus an additional $50,000 for each year on death row. A wrongfully convicted person would receive $25,000 for each year on parole, community custody or as a registered sex offender.

The state will also pay all child support owed while the claimant was in custody, and will reimburse all court and attorney fees up to $75,000.

In-state college tuition waivers will be provided for the person who was wrongfully convicted, as well as their children and/or step-children. 

House Bill 1612 – Firearm Registry – The Washington State Patrol will begin maintaining a database of felony firearm offenders. This will help law enforcement officials to keep track of who these felony firearm offenders are. A judge can decide whether the offender must register with their county"s Sheriff Office as part of this program. This information will not be available to the public.

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New Laws involving Alcohol

July 29th, 2013 No comments

Several new laws involving alcohol took effect in Washington State on Sunday, July 28th, 2013.

House Bill 1001 and Senate Bill 5607 allows theaters to sell alcohol to customers over 21 years old.

Senate Bill 5396 allows businesses that sell hard liquor to give out small samples of different types of alcohol to patrons.

Senate Bill 5674 allows farmers markets to give out samples of beer and wine.

Senate Bill 5774 allows students (over 18 years old) to taste, and then spit out, alcohol in certain classroom settings. This is to give a boost to community and technical colleges with alcohol or culinary degree programs.

House Bill 1001 changes the way self-checkout machines ring up alcohol orders at grocery stores. This bill requires that the self-checkout machines freeze transactions involving alcohol sales until an employee verifies that the buyer is over 21 years old.

New DUI Laws: For Repeat Offenders, Ankle Bracelets and In-Home Breath Alcohol Tests

July 25th, 2013 No comments

In September, 2013 new DUI laws will be going into effect for repeat DUI offenders in three counties and two cities. Such offenders can avoid jail time with 24/7 breath alcohol monitoring programs.

Offenders could be given ankle bracelets that detect alcohol use from their sweat. Remote breath alcohol tests could be installed in their homes. And they could be assigned a portable breath testing device that looks like a cell phone but which detects alcohol.

Most of these breath testing devices take digital photographs of the test subject to make sure the offender is the one actually giving the sample.

If someone tests positive for alcohol use, or tampers with the testing equipment, they will be sent straight to jail to serve out their sentence.

This is a special pilot test program. If successful, it will eventually be used statewide. 


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