Recent DUI cases highlight problems with repeat offenders

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- As the push continues for tougher DUI laws, two recent cases are drawing attention to repeat offenders.

On Tuesday, Puyallup police say they got a repeat DUI offender off the streets when they arrested James Door.

Tuesday's DUI arrest was Door's fifth, and investigators say he was so impaired when they pulled him over that he had trouble getting out of his car. After the arrest, Door refused to give a breath sample.

"Essentially, the offender had already done time on a prior DUI arrest and felt he had nothing to lose and it didn't mean anything to him so he wasn't going to cooperate," said Capt. Scott Engle with the Puyallup Police Department.

Engle then obtained a search warrant for a mandatory blood draw so it could be used later as evidence.

"It's taking a serious, serious problem off the road that can impact innocent people in a moment's notice," he said.

Door's arrest comes at the same time some lawmakers are proposing to tighten the state's DUI laws. Among other changes, the laws would require an arrest on the first offense and would set mandatory minimum jail time for second and third offenses.

"We do think the laws need to be tougher here in Washington," said Dan Schulte, whose parents were killed and his wife and son seriously injured when they were hit by an alleged drunk driver in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood five weeks ago .

In his first public statement since the crash, Schulte said things need to change.

"A tragedy like this, it's really indescribable," he said. "It's something that is preventable and it's hit our family harder than it has most and it can happen to anyone."

He now wants to help make sure no other family has to suffer like his.

"All of us need to do what we can to make a difference, and we're hoping this horrible event can result in some positive outcomes," he said.

Schulte's wife and infant son are both recovering in the hospital, but doctors say their road to recovery will be long. The suspected drunk driver, Mark Mullan, is facing two counts each of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.