Washington DUI Law

When faced with a Washington DUI arrest and/or conviction, there are a number of issues to consider: Will you have to serve jail time? If so, for how long? Or is probation a possibility? What will you owe in fines? Will your license be suspended, and for how long? Will you have to go to a DUI school or do community service? Here are the basic laws regarding Washington DUI fines and sentencing.

Washington DUI/DWI Glossary of Terms
Washington DUI/DWI Insurance Consequences
What Happens When You Get Stopped for Drunk Driving?
How Does a Drunk Driving Conviction Affect Your Record?

First Washington DUI Offense:


Washington Criminal Status: Gross misdemeanor for per se and high, misdemeanor for anyone under 21 years of age.


Jail: BAC Per Se: 1st offense: No less than one day nor more than one year imprisonment. Imprisonment may not be suspended or deferred unless the court finds that imprisonment would impose a substantial risk to the offender’s physical or mental well-being. Instead of imprisonment, the court may order a 15-day electronic home monitoring (EHM) device be installed at the offender’s expense. EHM may also include an alcohol detection breathalyzer.


High BAC: Imprisonment of not less than 2 days nor more than one year. Imprisonment may not be suspended or deferred unless the court finds that imprisonment would impose a substantial risk to the offender’s physical or mental well-being. Instead of imprisonment, the court may order a 15-day electronic home monitoring (EHM) device be installed at the offender’s expense. EHM may also include an alcohol detection breathalyzer.


Washington DUI Fines/Costs:
BAC Per se: Not less than $350 nor more than $5,000.
High BAC or test refusal: Not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
In addition:



  • A $125 fee is assessed to a person who is either convicted, sentenced to a lesser charge, or given deferred prosecution, as a result of an arrest. The fee goes to the WA State Toxicology Laboratory.
  • A $500 fee is assessed to support the victim’s compensation fund and an assessment of 60% of the fine imposed to fund safety and education programs.

Washington License Suspension:
1st Offense BAC Per Se: 90 days
1st Offense High BAC or refusal of test: 1 year


Violation of Zero Tolerance Law:
90 day suspension


Washington Conditional License: Conditional licensing is allowed for 1st time offenders after a mandatory suspension period has been served.


Vehicle Impound: none


Washington DUI School: Yes, generally, an 8-hour program. Check with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, for a list of approved DUI schools.


Washington Probation: At court’s discretion.


Washington Community Service: At court’s discretion.


 

Second Washington DUI Offense Plus:


Washington Criminal Status: Gross misdemeanor for per se and high, misdemeanor for anyone under 21 years of age.


Jail: 30 days jail time, one year maximum, and 60 days of electronic home monitoring.


Washington DUI Fines/Costs:
Second offense when BAC is less than .15: at least $500, not to exceed $5,000.
Second offense when BAC is at least .15: at least $750, not to exceed $5,000.
In addition:



  • A $125 fee is assessed to a person who is either convicted, sentenced to a lesser charge, or given deferred prosecution, as a result of an arrest. The fee goes to the WA State Toxicology Laboratory.
  • A $500 fee is assessed to support the victim’s compensation fund and an assessment of 60% of the fine imposed to fund safety and education programs.

Washington License Suspension:
BAC Per se: 2 years
High BAC or refusal of test: 90 days


Violation of Zero Tolerance Law:
One year or until age 21, whichever is greater.


Washington Conditional License: Statute is silent for 2nd time offenders.


Vehicle Impound: None


Washington DUI School: Yes, generally, an 8-hour program. Check with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, for a list of approved DUI schools.


Washington Probation: At court’s discretion.


Washington Community Service: At court’s discretion.


 

Other:

Commercial Vehicle: 0.04 BAC, one year license disqualification and payment of fines.
Under Age: 21
Washington Open Container Laws: Yes. Driver and passenger.
How long does a DUI stay on your record? A DUI in Washington stays on your driving record forever.
Driver Responsibility Tax: N/A.
Ignition interlock device program: IID required for a time period calculated from the date the person is eligible to reinstate from the suspension, revocation or denial imposed as a result of the conviction. 60 day IID requirement for DUI conviction of anyone under 16 years of age.

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