New rules make it easier for Yakima to seize cars of repeat DUI offenders

YAKIMA, Wash. -- There's a new wrinkle in the DUI law. Repeat drunks now have a greater chance of having their car seized by the city.

Yakima is one of the few cities in the state where this exists, and now its parameters are even stricter.

"I have a driver, I just don't even drink as much," said Kirby Shaul.

Kirby Shaul's been convicted of a DUI here in Yakima, and after a year of paying the consequences, it's something he'll never do again.

"Cabs are cheap, people don't realize I think that in Yakima that cabs aren't expensive, compared to the thousands of dollars spent on a DUI," said Shaul.

But repeat offenders aren't going away.

Last year Yakima created a policy in which they would seize your car if you're caught with a second DUI in a 7 year period. Yet there's exceptions such as if you have an innocent spouse.

With such a narrow scope, only one car was taken, but the criteria has expanded. Your car can now be seized if you're caught driving without an interlock device after being ordered to have it installed.

"State patrol is in charge of monitoring ignition interlocks and they indicated that there are over 10,000 people in the state of Washington out of compliance with the ignition interlock," said Bronson Faul, Yakima Assistant City Attorney.

KIMA wanted to get a better idea of how many people in the county do have an ignition interlock device installed in their car, and found out from WSP the number this year has tripled from the same time period last year.

Jumping from 251 to 689, due in part to a new law requiring repeat offenders released pre-trial to have one.

So now If you're pulled over for a DUI the city can seize your car if it's your second offense whether the prior offense was another DUI, a violation of an ignition interlock, or physical control, meaning you were caught passed out in your car while it was running.

Stricter rules, that not everyone agrees with.

"I think they can take your right to drive but not your own property," said Shaul.

But put in place to save lives.

Yakima prosecutors say police departments and city prosecutors from other areas of the state have called with questions about setting up a similar program in their city.