Unfortunately, the state of Washington does not see a DUI as an innocent mistake. Instead, they see it as an opportunity for harsh punishment. Washington deploys incredibly harsh penalties for DUI and DWI offenders; therefore, if you are convicted of a DUI, you may find that you have life-long consequences for one misstep in judgment.
The Criminal Penalties of a DUI Conviction in Washington
It is illegal to operate or be in possession of a motor vehicle in Washington when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is more than 0.08 or if you are under the influence of a legal or controlled substance.
Also, the state will consider any previous DUI convictions from the last seven to ten years. If you have four subsequent DUI convictions in a ten-year period, you will be charged with a felony.
The BAC level at the time of your arrest will also dictate the penalty per RCW 46.61.5055. A BAC of 0.15 or more will result in heightened jail sentences and fines.
Criminal penalties for a DUI include:
- First Offense: First-time DUI offenders with a 0.15 or less BAC can spend one day in jail or 15 days of electronic home monitoring and pay up to $941 in fines. For a first-time offender with a 0.15 or higher BAC, jail time is extended to two days or 30 days EHM and a fine of up to $1,196. An ID will be required by the Department of Licensing as well.
- Second Offense: If your BAC is 0.15 or less, you will have 30 days in jail and 60 days EHM plus a minimum penalty of $1,196. With a BAC of 0.15 or higher, you will spend 45 days in jail, 90 days EHM, and pay a minimum fine of $1,621.
- Third Offense: With a BAC of 0.15 or less, you will spend up to 90 days in jail with a maximum of 364 days and a fine of no less than $1,000. If your BAC is 0.15 or higher, you will have 120 days in jail with a maximum of 364 days, and a fine of no less than $1,500 and no greater than $5,000.
The Administrative Penalties If You are Convicted of a DUI
In addition to the criminal penalties, the Department of Licensing can strike you with administrative penalties. If convicted, your license can be suspended for anywhere from 90 days to four years. To reinstate your license or receive restricted licensing so you can drive, you must install an IID as well as apply for an Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL).
Avoid the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction by contact the attorneys at Bugbee Law Office, P.S. by calling 509-337-5082 or request a case evaluation online.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
© 2016 Bugbee Law Offices, P.S.