The process of navigating through a DUI or DWI charge in Washington State can be complicated and emotional. Washington State is known for being one of the toughest DUI states, imposing life altering consequences. Additionally, when charged with DUI/DWI an individual will also have to deal with a completely separate matter called the Department of Licensing Hearing.
If convicted of a DUI or DWI in Washington State, an individual may face; steep fines, jail time, required installation of an ignition interlock device, community service, costly education classes, and driver’s license suspension.
The DUI attorneys at David O Defense take time for their clients and walk them through these unfamiliar emotional processes. The attorneys use their experience and knowledge to fight for their clients. They have successfully defended countless individuals charged with DUI or DWI; getting their cases reduced or dismissed!
In Washington State there are two specific charges that are typically used in an arrest for DUI:
- DUI, driving under the influence with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher.
- DWI, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
DUI and DWI is a crime handled at the state level. The courts mandate DUI and DWI penalties depending on where the DUI was committed, the amount of alcohol consumed, any crimes committed or property damage while under the influence, and whether there were injuries as a result of the DUI or DWI.
- Fines, jail time, probation, community service.
- Prosecution under civil law for property damages.
- Revocation or suspension of the driver’s license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- Minimum mandatory penalties are a possibility for drivers having a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above a state’s maximum allowable level (.08 percent for most states) or drivers subject to the implied consent laws for refusing to submit to chemical testing.
- Inability to apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Zero tolerance laws mean that a driver under 21 found to have any positive alcohol testing will be convicted of DUI and may lose their driver’s license, even if they have not reached the maximum legal BAC limit. If the DUI offense is serious enough, the driver may be tried as an adult.
- Vehicle confiscation is a possibility, usually for repeat DUI offenders.
- An ignition interlock device that attaches to the convicted driver’s vehicle and requires a breath test before the vehicle will start. The driver pays for installation, leasing, and monthly maintenance.
- Insurance companies may decline coverage to DUI offenders. There are companies that insure high-risk drivers, and it is essential that all drivers carry adequate coverage. A driver convicted of DUI must file an SR22 proof of insurance form to get their suspended driver’s license reinstated. This form provides proof that the driver has obtained vehicle insurance meeting minimum liability requirements.
- DUI alcohol education or DUI treatment/assessment for alcohol abuse can be required. This may be suggested instead of serving a sentence of incarceration or paying fines.
1st DUI Charge within 7 Years
- BAC result less than .15 = 1-364 days in jail or 15 days of EHM (electric home monitoring), $941-$5,000 fine, ignition interlock device for 1 year, and 90 day license suspension.
- BAC result more than .15 or refusal = 2-364 days in jail or 30 days of EHM, $1,196-$5,000 fine, ignition interlock device for 1 year, and license revocation for 1 year if BAC result was more than .15 or license revocation for 2 years if BAC was refused.
2nd DUI Charge within 7 Years
- BAC result less than .15 = 30-364 days in jail, 60 days of EHM, $1,196-$5,000 fine, ignition interlock device for 5 years, and license revocation for 2 years.
- BAC result more than .15 or refusal = 45-364 days in jail, 90 days of EHM, $1,621-$5,000 fine, ignition interlock device for 5 years, and license revocation for 900 days if BAC result was more than .15 or license revocation for 3 years if BAC was refused.
3rd DUI Charge within 7 Years
- BAC result less than .15 = 90-364 days in jail, 120 days of EHM, $2,046-$5,000 fine, ignition interlock device for 10 years, and license revocation for 3 years.
- BAC result more than .15 or refusal = 120-364 days in jail, 150 days of EHM, $2,896-$5,000 fine, ignition interlock device for 10 years, and license revocation for 4 years.
DUI Charge for Minors (under 21 years of age)
- BAC .02-.07 = 0-90 days in jail, $0-$1,000 fine, ignition interlock device for 1 year, and license suspension for 90 days.