She spent nearly six years in prison for killing a mother of two while driving drunk, tearfully apologized to the victim’s family in court and promised the judge who callled her a “human bomb” that she’d “try to live right in the future,” says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Fewer than three years after her release from prison for vehicular homicide, Susan West, 48, is in trouble again — arrested for the sixth time on suspicion of drunken driving.
West’s license has been suspended since July 1997, after her minivan struck and killed a woman who was walking hand-in-hand with her husband. West’s blood-alcohol level was measured at more than three times the legal limit. The case fueled the passage of 13 state DUI-related laws. This year, legislators further toughened DUI laws by making a person’s fifth conviction in 10 years a felony. “It’s the repeat offender that we’re after,” said Rep. John Ahern. “Probably 90 percent of DUI (offenders) never come back. It’s just a handful that’s causing a problem, like Susan West.”