Impaired driving is a leading factor in Washington traffic deaths.We’re working with other state agencies to keep alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers off the roads. Washington wants to increase impaired driving arrests, improve prosecution, set up more DUI courts, and promote the use of ignition-interlock devices. In Washington state, impaired driving is defined as:
- driving while under the influence of drugs,
- driving while impaired by alcohol, or
- driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or above.
Through WIDAC, the Traffic Safety Commissioners hear from all the agencies and organizations working to reduce impaired driving. WIDAC helps coordinate their work. The advisory council is made up of
- 10 voting members from 7 state agencies with direct responsibility for traffic safety
- 15 advisory members with expertise in prevention, deterrence, treatment, rehabilitation, and program management
For information on WIDAC quarterly meetings, please contact the program manager for Impaired Driving.
WIDAC Member Log-in
Council members can log in to the project website.
High-visibility patrols — coupled with publicity campaigns — significantly reduce impaired driving.
We work with state and local law enforcement on enforcement projects including:
Expanded DUI patrols We fund High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) patrols throughout the year.
Public awareness of DUI laws and consequences We conduct campaigns like “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Enhanced capabilities for DUI patrols We help fund the Washington State Patrol’s mobile impaired-driving unit and aerial response team.
Community-based law enforcement Our grants to local law enforcement make possible innovative community programs like Yakima Sober Streets.
DUI enforcement training We support programs for law enforcement such as the Drug Recognition Expert Training and Standard Field Sobriety Test Training.
What happens after law enforcement arrests someone for impaired driving? Typically, a prosecutor files charges and the accused driver appears in court. Sometimes emergency medical services, the probation system, and social services agencies are involved as well.
We help communities do a better job of handling DUI cases.
Better prosecution We fund the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors, attorneys who serves as statewide resources on DUI law.
More effective courts We make it possible for judges to attend training that focuses on new scientific and legal issues in the DUI field.
Innovative treatment programs Our grants allow courts, the probation system, and health and social services agencies to develop more effect ways of working with impaired drivers.
A law effective July 22, 2011 asked the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to maintain a Victim Impact Panel Registry (pdf 425.94 kB) of qualified Victim Impact Panels (VIP). The law also set minimum requirements for VIPs.
We provide a form for VIPs to certify that they meet the requirements and we provide a VIP registry.
Certify your VIP The Victim Impact Panels Certification Form allows the designated facilitator to certify that their VIP meets the minimum requirements.
Update your VIP Information The Victim Impact Panel Corrections or Update Form (docx ) allows the designated facilitator to update an existing VIP listing.
View the VIP registry The Victim Impact Panel Registry (pdf 425.94 kB)provides a list of Victim Impact Panels who have self-certified that they meet all the minimum requirements set in RCW 10.01.230.
Under the law (RCW 10.01.230):
Courts are not required to use the WTSC registry.
A court may use a VIP that is not on the WTSC registry as long as the VIP meets the minimum requirements. Courts may make this determination.
There is no language that requires either the WTSC or the court to “certify” a VIP. If a panel’s designated facilitator self-certifies, WTSC will place their information on the registry. WTSC will not be responsible for certifying the panels.
Impaired driving is often a repeat offense. Research shows that one-third of the people convicted for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) will be arrested for DUI again within 3 years.
We fund two types of programs to reduce repeat offenses:
- DUI courts (Clark, Grant, Spokane and Thurston counties) These courts offer alternative sentencing options for participants who stop using alcohol and drugs, attend school or work, and agree to strict supervision.
- Ignition interlock compliance We fund a Washington State Patrol position to conduct compliance checks of drivers who use ignition interlock devices and provide ignition interlock training for other law enforcement agencies. Ignition interlock devices can prevent someone who has been drinking from starting a car. In some states, they have decreased the second-offense rate by more than 50 percent.
We support innovative law enforcement projects including party-intervention patrols to keep teens from drinking and to prevent people who have been drinking from getting behind the wheel.