Will I Get Jail Time For My DUI In Washington?

If someone is accused of a DUI in the State of Washington, he or she may be facing the possibility of jail time. In fact, a DUI in Washington is actually punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

While this sentence is only given in extreme circumstances, the possibility is there that a person charged with a DUI could be sentenced to serve time in jail.

Mandatory Washington State DUI Penalties

For the most part, DUI offenses come with specific mandatory penalties, which can vary based on how many prior DUI offenses the defendant has had within the past 7 years.

These prior offenses can include not just a DUI but also any vehicular assault and vehicular homicide convictions.

Crimes that were also charged as a DUI but reduced to a lesser sentence, such as reckless driving, are also considered a “prior offense” if they happened within seven years of the most current arrest for a DUI.

The mandatory penalty can also vary based on the breathalyzer results. The higher the blood alcohol levels (BAC), the higher the mandatory minimum sentence.

First DUI Offense

If the defendant is facing his or her first DUI offense in seven years and the BAC is less than 0.15, the minimum jail sentence is one day with a minimum fine of $941, as well as a license suspension of 90 days.

If the BAC is above 0.15 or the driver refused, the minimum jail sentence is two days with a minimum fine of $1,195.50. If the BAC was above 0.15, the driver will likely face a one-year license suspension.

If he or she refused to take the test, the license suspension could be for two years. A one-year sentence of using an ignition interlock system is also required for a 1st DUI conviction.

Second DUI Offense

For a second DUI offense in seven years, if the defendant had a BAC of below 0.15, he or she could be facing 30 days of jail and 60 days of electronic home monitoring, a minimum fine of $1,195.50 and 2 years of a license suspension.

For refusal to take the test or a BAC of above 0.15, the defendant, if convicted, will face 45 days in jail and 90 days with electronic home monitoring, as well as a fine of $1,620.50.

The driver’s license will be suspended for 2.5 years for a high BAC level or 3 years for refusal to take the test. The ignition interlock system is required for a second DUI offense for at least one year, with the possibility of up to five years.

Additional DUI Offenses

For a defendant who has received three or more DUI convictions, with a BAC of below 0.15, he or she could be facing 90 days jail time with 120 days of electronic home monitoring and a fine of $2,045.50, as well as a driver’s license suspension for three years.

For drivers with a BAC over 0.15 or those who refused to take the test and were convicted, the jail sentence increases to 120 days in jail with 150 days of electronic home monitoring, a fine of $2,895.50, and license suspension for four years.

The ignition interlock requirement can be anywhere from one to ten years, depending on what type of prior offenses the driver had.

The driver will also need to complete an alcohol evaluation, as well as treatment program, both of which the driver pays for out of pocket.

Alternatives To Jail

In many situations, a defendant may have other options to jail time. While many DUI penalties do require mandatory jail time be served by “imprisonment,” this does leave some possibilities open.

Imprisonment means it cannot be served at home through electronic monitoring, but the defendant could potentially do work release in some jurisdictions.

Also, some counties have jail alternative days for 1st offenders that allow them to complete a day in jail and alcohol treatment classes in less confining locations than a county jail.

Probation Terms

The State does require up to five (5) years of probation for a DUI offense. It can be monitored by a probation department or unmonitored, as well as a combination of the two.

All unmonitored supervision means is that a court clerk will check compliance with the sentence.

Monitored means an actual probation officer is assigned to the defendant’s case, and this person maintains regular contact with the offender for the length of the probation term.

The defendant will be responsible for the costs of probation.

Contact Us Today

If you’ve been detained or arrested, the experienced defense attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates can help.

Call 253-201-4530 today to schedule your free consultation. Ask about our military discount and convenient payment plans.

Posted in DUI

Beware of Cannabis Blows 2017

respirator     Washington State University (WSU) researchers say they are about a year away from having a portable breath test that police can use to detect if someone has recently consumed weed and is driving under the influence.
Roadside breath tests already exist to detect whether drivers have consumed alcohol. But currently, officers have no similar device to test drivers for marijuana use. WSU researchers have completed their first round of testing of the marijuana breathalyzer and are making improvements.      The second round of testing is about to begin and the plan is to make the device available for police to use in the field sometime next year.
While police would still need to get a warrant and draw a person’s blood to see if they meet the legal definition of impairment under the state’s marijuana laws, a breath test could be a more reliable way to detect marijuana impairment than field sobriety tests that officers use now.
Initiative 502, which voters approved in 2012 to legalize recreational marijuana use, said drivers are considered impaired if they test positive for at least 5 nanograms of delta-9 THC per milliliter of blood. The marijuana breath test under development at WSU is designed to test for delta-9 THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes someone to get high- not the metabolite that can stay in someone’s system for days or weeks. Right now, the test determines only whether delta-9 TCH is present in someone’s system, and not what level is in their blood.
Out of 30 times the test was recently used on someone before and after they smoked marijuana, it accurately detected TCH in the person’s system about half of the time. The test turned up only one false positive during the trials. Researchers are continuing to refine the breath test and will only improve on those results. The research team had already made changes that will help make the test more accurate going forward.

Criminal Attorney

Drunk Driving Starts Young

Study of 12-Year-Olds’ Views Hint at DUI Risk.

Drunk DrivingA study of kids in the Los Angeles area suggests a specific way to reduce the risk that they will drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol as teenagers. This is accomplished by challenging their beliefs about marijuana as early as sixth grade. The 12-year-olds who believed that marijuana could help them relax or be otherwise beneficial were significantly more likely to drive under the influence when they were 16 than 12-year-olds who had negative views of marijuana. They were also significantly more likely to ride with someone else who was buzzed, drunk or high behind the wheel, according to the study. This study was published October 5, 2015 in the journal Pediatrics.

The study indicates that youth view marijuana use as less dangerous than drinking. Driving under the influence is common among American teenagers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 10 percent of high school students drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs in any given month, and more than 20 percent have been passengers of someone driving under the influence. Researchers from Rand Corp. in Santa Monica, California and Arlington, Virginia looked for risk factors in middle school that could predict these dangerous behaviors in high school. Using statistical models to control for the student’s age, gender, race and ethnicity, school and whether their mothers had graduated from high school, the researchers identified several factors that seemed to predict unsafe driving, include drunk driving, at age 16.

Kids who had warmer, fuzzier ideas about marijuana use when they were 12 were 63 percent more likely than their peers to admit either driving under the influence themselves or to ride with someone who was driving under the influence, according to the study. In addition, 12-year-olds who felt most confident that they could resist marijuana use wound up being 89 percent more likely to mix alcohol and drugs with cars, motorcycles or other vehicles.

Criminal Attorney

DUI and Retrograde Extrapolation

Delayed Blood-Alcohol Estimates Draw Criticism in Cases.

The way prosecutors saw it, the Defendant was driving while intoxicated when he raced own a Long Island freeway at 100mph this summer and slammed into a car carrying a family home from church. The fiery wreck killed a father and his two children. The defendant’s blood-alcohol reading, taken Retrograde Extrapolationabout four hours later, was 0.06 which is below the legal limit of 0.08. The Defendant was still charged with Driving under the influence and vehicular homicide because a forensic technique estimated that his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was actually 0.12.

This technique is known as retrograde extrapolation and has been used to win convictions in DUI cases nationwide for decades, but has increasingly come under scrutiny by drunken-driving experts as an unreliable measure of a person’s intoxication. Some defense attorneys have even labeled it junk science. A former prosecutor who is representing the Defendant stated that, “Retrograde extrapolation is about as scientifically reliable as astrology. It relies on the assumption that a person’s blood-alcohol content peaked prior to the arrest without any basis to prove that.”

While there are no national statistics to document the use of retrograde extrapolation, prosecutors in many states have offered evidence of estimated intoxication levels at trial, whereas, courts in other states have severely restricted its use requiring prosecutors to use only blood-alcohol readings taken at the time of arrest. Prosecutors who have used retrograde extrapolation swear by it as a proven technique that doesn’t reward DUI suspects for fleeing the scene and avoiding immediate blood-alcohol testing. Experts say the intoxicating effects of alcohol are not experienced until it is absorbed into the blood stream. After a person stops drinking, the blood-alcohol level peaks when the most alcohol has been absorbed and the least amount of alcohol has been eliminated. Defense attorneys argue that alcohol absorption and elimination rates vary widely depending on a person’s gender, drinking habits, the type of beverage, what a person ate and how much, and whether a person had experienced trauma, which sometimes slows the rate.

Don’t trust the junk science. If the police “expert” says a person was drunk, you need to hire an experienced DUI attorney who knows how to attack drunk driving, and DWI, charges. The experienced DUI attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates will meet with you for free and explain your options. Call today, and ask about our convenient payment plans and military discount – 253-683-4180.

Criminal Attorney