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Police: DUI driver in fatal accident was nearly 3 times over legal limit

SEATTLE — It may be difficult to comprehend how someone could get in a vehicle and drive under the influence, but it’s especially confounding when the driver is nearly three times over the legal limit.

That’s what police and prosecutors allege Mark Mullan did Monday before he plowed into four people in Seattle, killing a married couple and critically injuring their daughter-in-law and her 10-day-old son.

“A car in the hands of a drunk can be as dangerous as a gun,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Tuesday.

Lindquist added that it’s more common than one might think and repeat offenders, such as Mullan, who’s been arrested for DUI three times in the last six months, are the worst.

“Your most dangerous drunk driver is not the first-time DUI but the third-time DUI, the fifth-time DUI, the seventh-time DUI. Those are the chronic alcoholic drivers,” Lindquist said.

Mullan was driving with a suspended license because of his prior arrests and he was supposed to have in his vehicle an ignition interlock device, which would have required him to blow into it (with no alcohol detected) before he could start his pickup truck.

But Lindquist said neither is foolproof.

“You’re not supposed to drive with a suspended license, but some people still do. You’re not supposed to drive without an interlock device when so ordered by the court, but some people still do,” Lindquist said.

“Now we have this horrible murder, basically, on the roadway,” said state Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, who has sponsored tougher DUI laws in Olympia.

Goodman said there are 40,000 arrests for DUI every year in Washington and more than 25,000 court-ordered ignition interlock devices attached to vehicles all over the state.

The problem is that enforcement is hampered by dwindling budgets.

“Much better enforcement of those who are supposed to have the interlock device” would help, Goodman said. “It’s hard to tell who is driving with or without a license — that’s a tough one. Probation departments are strapped right now, and so if we had better supervision, that might make a difference.”

The Legislature has, over the past couple of years, increased funding for enforcement, but if someone is intent on breaking the law, Goodman said, a device won’t stop them.

“We’ve increased funding for the State Patrol to go and make sure that those who are supposed to have the interlock device do, but for someone like this, who is just going to ignore a court order, going to drive without a license, not put the device in the car, I don’t know if we can prevent every tragedy, but we’re going to look hard at this one,” Goodman said.

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14 comments

  • Goobz

    It just sucks for people like me who have made a simple (yet not so simple) mistake, have obided by the law 100%, that we have to deal with the upcoming, possible harassment SUCKS!

  • Sober

    i thought i learned my lesson the first time. my second time was a simple mistake that was under the legal limit. but for this man not abiding by the judicial system??? I damn made sure that i followed the judicial system and got a ignition interlock. To this day, I am 105 days sober, which is an awesome feeling. I feel sorry for the family that has to go through this ordeal. My prayers to them.

    • Bootlegger59

      Here, is a living testimonial, that taking the licence away doesn't do any good. It should be, after the first offense, ONE year in jail. IF, a second one occurs…….and automatic 5 years in jail. IF, you kill someone, it's an automatic 20 years in prison!! If you can't some stinking drunk off the road by taking his license away, then take that drunk and put him/her away, so that they cannot drive a car and hurt or kill anyone else, ever again!

    • Frank Blair

      My daughter Sheena and her friend Tony were killed by a drunk driver in Everett three years ago. I have been sober for 33 years. When Sheena was killed was the only time I have REALLY struggled to stay sober. Somehow I managed. Your 105 days are AWESOME. I have NOTHING against those who DUI and learn from it. Congratulations Sober. You get it, one beautiful day at a time.

  • citizens

    Driving drunk is never an accident!! You chose to drink you chose to drive! You are sorry poor persecuted you, now there are two people murdered by car and a mother and child scared physically and emotionally for the rest of their lives.

  • Rest of the story?

    So The Grandpa and Grandma Were killed RIP. and the daughter in law and child are in the hospital. what I have not heard is where the Son/Dad is?

    • Erik

      He is at the hospital, keeping vigil over his critically injured wife and newborn son, and grieving the sudden loss of his parents. Mercifully, he is being left alone by the media. What did you think?

  • kt

    this man doesnt live alone-where were the people he lives with? I have heard and his neice feel sorry for him as he has battled alcoholism all his life…then someone in the family needs to watch him at all times. Get his truck the locking device-he needed to be treated like a wild teen…

    • Block Watcher

      His truck should be sold to pay hospital bills. I doubt if he will be driving anytime in the near future. Hopefully, he'll be locked up for 8 or more years.

  • guest

    enforcement hampered by dwindling budgets? here's and idea, have the offenders pay BIG money to fill the budget shortfalls for enforcement.

  • guest

    Why did Q13 use Roger Goodman to comment. He has been accused of smoking dope and driving with his kids. Even if he's innocent, you could have chosen someone without accusations like that about him.

  • LynneB

    The grandparents were close friends of mine. They were no frills, down to earth folks. He dedicated his life to teaching math (he was really good at it) and coaching. She was an English teacher and then a guidance counselor. Volunteers. Christians. Beloved.

    My little corner of the world is dark today.


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