Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal in the State of Washington. A DUI arrest can lead to immediate penalties via the administrative process and, if convicted, additional penalties. You will need a strong DUI defense attorney to help you with both the administrative and criminal proceedings if you want to protect both your driving privileges and your freedom. Via the administrative hearing process, your driver's license is automatically suspended though you can fight it. Through the criminal process, if convicted, you face a number of possible DUI penalties, like jail, fines, and probation.
At the Law Office of Vinny Randhawa, we understand the technical, scientific, and legal aspects of DUI cases. We also understand how a conviction of a DUI can lead to more than punishment – you face collateral consequences, like:
- loss of a professional license;
- difficulty obtaining a loan;
- challenges finding or retaining good employment;
- problems traveling to Canada;
- among many other consequences.
Overview of DUI Laws in Washington State
The Revised Code of Washington, under RCW 46r.61.502, defines what driving under the influence (DUI) is in Washington. A person is guilty of this crime when he or she drives:
while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood...; or
(b) The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood...; or
(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.
Thus, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs if your senses are impaired or if your alcohol concentration is .08% or higher or THC concentration is 5.00 or higher – known as per se DUI. This means your faculties may not be impaired but because of the concentration of blood or THC, you are effectively and illegally intoxicated.
When the DUI is related to drugs, it includes:
- over-the-counter medicines, like strong cough syrup;
- prescription drugs, like oxycontin; and
- dangerous drugs, like meth, cocaine, or heroin.
Any of these drugs can impair your faculties and make it dangerous for you to drive. Most DUI arrests result in DUI misdemeanors, but depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with a DUI felony.
DUI Tests Used in Washington State
There are a number of tests that may be administered to determine if there is probable cause to arrest you. These tests include:
- field sobriety tests
- drug recognition expert evaluations
- preliminary breath tests
- breath tests
- blood tests.
Courts Hearing DUI Cases
District courts in each county typically hear misdemeanor DUI cases file felony DUI cases are heard at the superior courts.
King County Courts
Pierce County Courts
Snohomish County Courts
Contact a Smart DUI Defense Attorney with Offices in Seattle & Kent WA
A DUI arrest is serious. Likewise, you need to get serious about your defense. Contact the Law Office of Vinny Randhawa at (425) 228-2202to schedule a consultation today.