Washington DUI penalties are harsh in order to encourage compliance and deter individuals from becoming repeat offenders. Punishments include the likes of a suspended drivers license, Ignition Interlock Device requirements, thousands of dollars in fines, and jail time.
Have you been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Do you have all the information you need to handle your case? Are you wondering, “what happens now?”
The best thing you can do now is to speak with an attorney who is familiar with Washington’s DUI laws. Here’s a short breakdown of DUI penalties in Washington State.
Washington State DUI Laws by Offense
DUI investigations occur when a police officer has noticed behavior that indicates impaired driving. A DUI arrest happens when an individual has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or above, they are driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or higher, or are under 21 years of age with a BAC of .02% or higher, or the individual’s driving was affected to an appreciable degree by either drugs or alcohol. A DUI can also occur if a person is under the influence of drugs.
If you’ve had more than one DUI, the penalties are more severe than a first-time offense. You could even see yourself moving from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. We break it down by offense here.
First-time offenders face a 90-day license suspension. If you refuse breath/blood tests, the penalty increases to an automatic one-year license revocation. The breath test is given back at the police station after an arrest occurred. This should not be confused with the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) or roadside breath test that is completely voluntary and administered in the field before arrest. An individual should always refuse the PBT.
A conviction requires a mandatory minimum of 24 Hours in custody and a maximum penalty of up to 1 Year of jail time.
Fines for a first time DUI conviction start at a minimum of $990.50 and can go all the way up to $5,000.
You will be required to install an IID, or ignition interlock device in your car for at least one year per the Department of Licensing (DOL). This forces the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before driving. The ignition only starts if the test yields no trace of alcohol. You’ll be responsible for paying all of the costs involved, including device installation and monthly lease fees.
A second DUI conviction within 7 years will result in a 2 year license revocation. Second offenders will also face a minimum of 30 days in custody and 60 days of electronic home monitoring. There is a maximum of up to 1 year in jail, and fines from $1,245 up to $5,000.
An IID will have to be installed for at least five years. The cost of this alone will be thousands of dollars.
In addition, mandatory alcohol/drug assessment and treatment may be required.
Third time offenders (or beyond) are subject to a 3 year license revocation. The minimum fine increases to $2,095.50 and minimum jail time increases to 90 days in custody and 120 days on electronic home monitoring or an additional 8 days in jail.
With a 3rd DUI conviction an IID will likely be required for least ten years.
Also, as with a second offense, mandatory alcohol/drug assessment and treatment may be required.
Whether a 1st time offense or greater, there are 3 scenarios that will increase penalties and fines:
- Refusing to take part in a sobriety test
- Having a passenger under the age of 16 in the car
- Having a BAC of 0.15% or higher
Have You Been Arrested for DUI? Contact Us Today!
If you have been charged or convicted of a DUI, the experienced defense attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates can help. Call today to schedule your free consultation, 253-666-8927. Ask about our military discount and convenient payment plans.