Washington DUI /DWI Lawyers

Washington DUI Laws, Penalties and Fines

In Washington, you can get a DUI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Washington says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Washington and other details about Washington DUI law.

In Washington, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Washington, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

 

What are the penalties for a DUI in Washington?

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Jail 24 hours to 1 year 30 days to 1 year 90 days to 1 year
Fines and Penalties $865.50 to $5,000 $1,120.50 to $5,000 1,970.50 to $5,000
License Suspension 90 days to 1 year 2 years to 900
days
3 to 4 years
IID** Required Yes Yes Yes

First Offense DUI in Washington

The state of Washington employs a tiered system for sentencing regarding DUI cases, with lower penalties for offendors with .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) and higher penalties for offenders possessing a BAC at or above .15. Likewise, violations such asrefusals to submit or associated criminal charges related to a given DUI arrest may incur additional administrative or criminal penalties.

  • First offense convictions carry mandatory incarceration of one (1) day; two (2) days for offenders with BAC in excess of .15%. Maximum incarceration in either case cannot exceed one (1) year.
  • State of Washington may employ a form of community control, known as electronic home monitoring, in lieu of mandatory incarceration for a period of fifteen (15) days or thirty (30) days, depending on BAC of driver.
  • Alcohol assessment or substance abuse treatment possible, but not required in every case
  • Fines at a minimum of $865.50 to maximum of $5,000 for offenders with BAC below .15%. Offenders with BAC above .15% face fines of at least $1,120.50, but not more than $5,000. Fines do not include costs related to completion of sentence or reinstatement of license

Second Offense DUI in Washington

Washington's DUI penalties for a second offense are also based on the defendant's ACL. A person convicted with a prior offense within seven years faces the following penalties:

ACL less than 0.15 or no conclusive test results other than test refusal:

  • Imprisonment not less than 30 days but no more than one year; this sentence cannot be suspended or deferred unless the court finds that the minimum sentence imposes a risk to the defendant's physical or mental well-being
  • 60 days of electronic home monitoring with an alcohol detection breathalyzer (at the cost of the offender)
  • A fine not less than $500 nor more than $5,000; $500 of this fine may not be suspended or deferred unless the offender is indigent

ACL of at least 0.15 or no conclusive test results because of test refusal:

  • Imprisonment not less than 45 days but no more than one year; this sentence cannot be suspended or deferred unless the court finds that the minimum sentence imposes a risk to the defendant's physical or mental well-being
  • 90 days of electronic home monitoring with an alcohol detection breathalyzer (at the cost of the offender)
  • A fine not less than $750 nor mo

Third Offense DUI in Washington

The criminal penalties for a third DUI in Washington are as follows:

  • Imprisonment for minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 364 unless BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is 0.15 or above, in which case imprisonment of 120 days (minimum) up to a maximum of 364 days.
  • A minimum fine of approximately $2,000 to a maximum of $5,000 unless BAC is greater than 0.15 in which case the minimum is approximately $3,000.

In some cases, the court assigns different ways to serve the sentence depending on the person’s circumstances. These may include community service, completion of an alcohol education program or spending a part of the jail term on probation.


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