If you were arrested for a Washington DUI, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. “Operating” means the immediate, actual physical control over a motor vehicle that is in motion and/or has its engine running. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol. Below we have outlined the most important information for you to inform yourself about DUI in Washington.
Washington DUI Penalties
IMPORTANT: IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING YOUR ARREST – REGARDLESS OF THE CONTENT OF THE ARRESTING OFFICER’S REPORT AND YOUR BAC RESULTS – YOU MUST RESPOND BY THE DATE ON YOUR ‘INTENT TO SUSPEND’ FORM AND REQUEST YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING WITH THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING. CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED WASHINGTON DUI ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE YOUR HEARING AND SAVE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE.
If you are convicted of a first-time Washington DUI, you could spend up to a year in jail! However, you may be able to get Electronic Home Confinement in lieu of jail time. Additionally, you can expect to be fined up to $5000 in fees and court surcharges. Additional penalties can include the attendance of alcohol education courses, 5 years of monitored probation, and the installation of an ignition interlock device, of which you will be responsible for the installation and monthly maintenance fees. If your BAC at the time of arrest was in excess of .15%, there are enhanced penalties.
Washington has a “look-back” period of 7 years. A look-back period means that if you get a 2nd Washington DUI within 7 years of your first DUI, you’ll be subjected to increased penalties. These penalties can include a minimum of 30 days in jail or 60 days Home Confinement, fines up to $5000, and having your driver’s license suspended for up to 24 months. Again, if your BAC at the time of arrest was in excess of .15%, there are enhanced penalties. The penalties for DUI in Washington for repeat offenders is substantially more punitive in an effort to curtail the DUI problem in the state. Consult with an experienced Washington DUI attorney to ensure your best chances of not being convicted of a 2nd DUI.
Washington DUI Lawyers
An arrest for DUI in Washington does not necessarily equal a conviction. Washington DUI attorneys defend DUI offenses and drunk driving cases in Washington. A good DUI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases. DUI attorneys will be able to offer you DUI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DUI charges and the administrative hearing with Washington DOL, regarding your license suspension.
General Washington DUI Information
Washington DUI Insurance
Another penalty that is often overlooked is your driver’s insurance. If you’re convicted of a Washington DUI, you will have to get what is called an SR-22 insurance. Your Washington DUI attorney can discuss what SR-22 is and what it will potentially cost you.
Expungements – A Washington DUI Is FOREVER!
Washington DUI convictions cannot be vacated. There are no expungement proceedings for DUI in Washington. Like sex offenses and serious violent crimes, you will never be able to get your DUI off your record. This overlooked penalty is reason enough to fight your DUI vigorously. Speak to an experienced DUI attorney now to protect your record.