Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (DUI) comes with some serious consequences in the state of Washington. As with all most criminal offenses, DUI cases come with the possibility of jail or prison time as well as a fine and probation. However, because DUI is not only a criminal offense but a civil one as well, there are separate civil consequences. The civil consequences involve the suspension of your driving privileges.
Criminal DUI Consequences in Washington State
There are jail consequences in DUI cases, which can include mandatory minimum sentences. While some judges may allow a defendant to serve time at home using an electronic monitoring device or some other alternative to jail, this is not guaranteed. The more prior DUI convictions you have, the more serious the consequences.
DUI cases in Washington State can be divided into two general categories:
- Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) results less than .15; and
- BAC results .15 and greater.
BAC Result Less than .15
In cases where the BAC result is less than .15, a first offense comes with a minimum of 24 consecutive hours in jail. Courts can assign jail alternatives, but the defendant's sentence will be longer than the one-day minimum of jail time. Fines and fees may range between $350 and $5,000.
A second offense within a seven-year period calls for a 30-day mandatory minimum jail sentence or 60 days of jail alternatives. The fines and fees will range between $500 and $5,000.
For a third or fourth offense within seven years, there is a mandatory 90-day jail sentence. Alternatively, a defendant can ask for 120 days to serve as a jail alternative. The fines and fees range from $1,000 to $5,000.
BAC Results .15 or Greater
Because of the higher blood alcohol content, DUIs with a BAC of .15 or greater come with more severe penalties. These include:
- Forty-eight (48) consecutive hours in jail for a first offense. Defendants may have the opportunity for 30 days of some jail alternative instead of serving jail time. The fines and fees will range between $500 - $5,000.
- Forty-five (45) days in jail for a second offense within seven years. Courts may order the defendant to serve 90 days of some jail alternative instead of jail time. The fines and fees will range from $750 to $5,000.
- One hundred twenty (120) days of jail time or 150 days of jail alternatives for a third or fourth offense within 10 years. The fines and fees will range from $1500 to $5,000.
Civil DUI Penalties
Depending on the number of priors and for a BAC of less than .15, a defendant's license may be suspended for:
- 90 days,
- 2 years, or
- 3 years.
For those charged with a DUI resulting in a BAC of .15 or over, drivers face revocation of his or her driver's license for:
- 1 year,
- 900 days, or
- 4 years.
Again, the length of revocation depends on how many prior DUIs a driver has. Additionally, drivers are required to use an ignition interlock device in their car for a period of time.
Facing DUI Charges in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties?
If you are facing DUI charges in King, Pierce, or Snohomish Counties, attorney Vinny Randhawa can help. Contact the office to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case today at (425) 228-2202. Vinny Randhawa takes calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.