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DUI in Washington

DWI in Washington

Have you been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Washington? Washington DUI lawyers can help fight a Washington DUI charge. Everyday, DUI lawyers help hundreds of drivers who have found themselves in a similar situation. DUI attorneys understand Washington DUI laws and can help get your DUI case dismissed, reduced to a lesser charge or, if necessary, fight your DUI case in court.

The state of Washington takes driving under the influence very seriously and has imposed severe penalties for drivers who are arrested and convicted for DUI. DUI penalties can include:

  • A suspended license
  • High court costs and fines
  • Probation
  • Alcohol and drug assessment courses
  • Jail

Washington DUI Laws
It is a criminal offense in the state of Washington to drive under the influence (DUI) of a drug, intoxicating liquor or a combination of the two. To be charged, the driver must be in physical control of the car. Drivers can also be arrested if:

  • Their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher
  • They are under the age of 21 and their BAC is 0.02% or higher
  • They are driving a vehicle under the influence of liquor or drugs and are unable to safely operate the vehicle

Drivers who have a Washington driver's license have given their implied consent to submit to a blood, urine, or breathing test if asked to do so by a Washington state police officer. An officer may stop a driver for any driving infraction such as running a red light, swerving, having a broken tail light or even after receiving an anonymous tip from another driver.

If the driver's BAC is greater than the legal limit, a driver can be arrested even if they did not exhibit any impairment in their mental or physical driving abilities. Washington drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical test will have their driver's license suspended but can challenge the suspension by requesting an administrative hearing.

Penalties for DUI in Washington

Penalties for DUI in the state of Washington will vary depending on the number of times the driver has been arrested. General information is provided below, but it is important for drivers to consult with their own Washington DUI lawyer to determine the specific penalties they may receive for their DUI charge.

First DUI Offense (Within 7 years)

  • Required jail stay of 1 day to 1 year or 15 days of home monitoring with an electronic home detention monitor
  • If BAC is 0.15% or higher there is a required jail term of 2 days to 1 year or 30 days of home monitoring with an electronic home detention monitor
  • Required to pay fines of $865 to $5,000 (higher fines assessed if BAC is above 0.15%)
  • Mandatory license suspension for 90 days, including probationary license for 5 years
  • Mandatory license suspension for 1 year if BAC is 0.15% or higher
  • Potential installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • Mandatory purchase of Washington SR22 insurance
  • Possible alcohol evaluation and potential alcohol treatment program for up to 2 years

If a driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% or higher or if they refuse to submit to a chemical test at the time of arrest, their penalties can be higher.

Second DUI Offense (Within 7 years)

  • Required jail stay of 30 days to 1 year or 60 days home monitoring with an electronic home detention monitor
  • Required jail stay of 45 days to 1 year if BAC is 0.15% or higher, 90 days electronic home monitoring required
  • Required to pay fines of $1,112 to $5,000
  • Mandatory license suspension for 2 years
  • Mandatory license suspension for 900 days if BAC is 0.15% or higher
  • Potential 5 years of monitored probation
  • Potential installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for 1 year
  • Required alcohol evaluation and potential alcohol treatment program for up to 2 years
  • Required purchase of Washington SR22 insurance

Third DUI Offense (Within 7 years)

  • Required jail stay of 90 days to 1 year; 120 days of mandatory home monitoring with an electronic home detention monitor
  • Required jail stay of 120 days to 1 year if the driver's BAC is 0.15% or higher; 150 days of mandatory electronic home monitoring
  • Required to pay fines of $1,970 to $5,000 (higher fines and penalties if BAC is 0.15% or higher)
  • Mandatory license suspension for 3 years
  • Mandatory license suspension for 4 years if BAC is 0.15% or higher
  • Potential 5 years of monitored probation
  • Potential installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • Required alcohol evaluation and potential alcohol treatment program for up to 2 years
  • Required purchase of Washington SR22 insurance

Hiring a Washington DUI defense lawyer
Many drivers want to know exactly what their DUI attorney will do for them. DUI lawyers can attend all of the DUI court hearings and answer DUI questions and emails. DUI lawyers will also investigate the DUI case and determine what the best option is for the driver. Finally, a DUI lawyer can help with the legal process of the DUI case including filing motions and discussing the DUI case with the prosecutor. DUI lawyers cannot guarantee that the DUI charges will be dropped, but they can commit to getting the driver the best deal possible.

Many Washington DUI attorneys will provide a free initial consultation to discuss a DUI case. Even if you are considering pleading guilty to your DUI, it does not cost anything to visit several DUI lawyers and make sure you understand all of the complexities of your DUI case.