Washington State DUI Laws
The moment your blood alcohol content or BAC level in the state of Washington has reached .08 percent or above, or in the case of people under 21 years old, .02 percent or higher, and if you reach .04 percent or higher if you are a commercial driver, then you will automatically be convicted with a DUI charge. You are regarded to be a first offender if you do not have any other driving under the influence case in the last seven years.
What Happens to First Time DUI Offenders in Washington?
In Washington State, a first-time DUI is typically charged as a gross misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 364 days of jail time and a $5000 fine. There are mandatory minimum sentences in all cases where a conviction is entered, which a judge is required to impose and therefore cannot reduce.
The most sanction you can receive if you happen to be a first time offender in Washington is a mandatory jail imprisonment that lasts for at least twenty four hours, together with a mandatory loss of license for ninety days or more, a probable installations of an ignition interlock device, an alcohol evaluation treatment, and lastly, a personal appearance at a DUI victim’s panel.
There are two instances wherein your driver’s license can be confiscated. Even if you have not been charged with any type of criminal offense, you can still be sanctioned and your license can still be suspended if your breath test reaches .08 percent or above for any intoxication. This is also the same rule that applies if you happen to reject or avoid taking such mandatory test.
Washington DUI Penalties
Once criminal charges have been previously filed under your name, you can lose your license can finally become convicted for DUI. You may request for an administrative hearing though that you ought to attend within thirty days from the time you were arrested by an attending officer. You would also be required to pay $100 to the Department of Licensing for the cost of the hearing.
You may be put to jail for a minimum of one day to a year, that of which the first twenty four hours is mandatory. If your blood alcohol content is .15 percent or any figure higher than that, then you will be put to jail for a minimum of forty eight hours that’s considered to be mandatory as well.
Electronic Home Monitoring
If it is your first time to be charged with a driving under the influence offense or DUI, there are some instances wherein the court may impose an electronic home monitoring system instead of the required minimum jail time that would last for about fifteen days or thirty days if your blood alcohol content is .15 percent or higher.
You will also be charged with the amount between $350-$5,000 ($823 total minimum fine w/statutory assessments). If your BAC was 15% or higher, your total minimum can reach up to $1,078.
Washington Felony DUI
While Washington does have some of the most stringent DUI laws in the country, a first-time DUI is usually not a felony unless there are extenuating circumstances. However, a number of factors can elevate a charge to a felony. Prior convictions are the most serious of these. Out-of-state convictions for equivalent offenses will be considered in Washington when determining whether DUI will be charged as a felony.
If it is the defendant’s fourth DUI or physical control charge in ten years, if the defendant has ever been found guilty of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the accused has ever been convicted of a felony DUI, the DUI will be charged as a felony.
Repeat DUI offenders in the state of Washington face severe penalties, which may be getting tougher. If you are caught driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two, you will face penalties under Washington Revised Code 46.51.502.
4th DUI in Washington
When you are charged with a fourth Washington DUI, the lookback period is extended to 10 years. So, if you have three or more DUI convictions in the last ten years, you could be charged with a Class B felony instead of a gross misdemeanor.
In addition to the numerous collateral consequences of a fourth DUI conviction in Washington, you face extremely harsh criminal penalties, including:
- Penalty of up to ten years in prison;
- A $20,000 fine is possible.
- Driver’s license suspension for four years; alcohol and drug assessment; alcohol and drug counseling;
- Probation and court-ordered ignition interlock device
Hire an Experienced Washington DUI Attorney
If you happen to have been charged with a driving under the influence or DUI offense in the state of Washington, then you can simply act on it now by doing these two important things:
One, you can simply take your case into actual account and with seriousness because it is actually a very well known fact that convictions for DUI in the state of Washington offer but truly grave consequences. In fact, once you are convicted for it, you are at high risk for not being employed, for not being personally free, and for not being to take control of your own future anymore.
Thus, the next thing that you can do is simply to hire the services of a well trained and experienced driving under the influence or DUI lawyer or attorney in the state of Washington who take care of your case. Doing this would help you understand the idea behind how DUI laws works and also help you understand some courtroom proceedings that are truly challenging. Other than this, when you hire an experienced DUI lawyer or attorney who has great background on DUI defense and laws, you have a great chance to revoke your case and improve its result like no other.
There’s no need for you to worry about anything else as well. You would be able to have the time of your life all over again by simply doing this. All you just have to do is call and schedule an initial interview that you wouldn’t necessarily be charged for. Of course, it would also do you good to know that everything that will be discussed in that conversation would be kept confidential.