It was the car crash heard around Seattle. In March, a drunk driver hit a family of four while they were crossing Wedgwood’s NE 75th Street on foot in the middle of the day, critically injuring Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and her infant son and killing her parents-in-law. The driver had been arrested five times for DUI and was driving with a suspended license. Two weeks later, another drunk driver with a pending DUI case, driving the wrong way on State Route 520 slammed head on into the car of a Seattle woman as she commuted to work. She died of her injuries. In the wake of these accidents, legislators pledged to pass the most aggressive DUI law in state history. The bill, which passed in June, does require faster charges and an initial jail stint for repeat offenders but it fails to change the fact that DUI in Washington state is not counted as a felony until it is committed five times in 10 years. That provision was estimated to cost $300 million over the next three years, something the city will be thinking about as it deals with the Schulte family’s $45 million lawsuit for failing to supervise the driver.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.