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DUI

Definition of a DUI

A person is guilty of a DUI if he/she drives a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08% or higher or if their ability to drive is impaired or affected by alcohol or drugs.  Washington’s implied consent law dictates that having a driver’s license represents the holder’s agreement to take a breath or blood test to determine whether drugs or alcohol are present in one’s system.  If a person refuses to submit to a BAC, their privilege to drive would be forfeited for at least one year.  The maximum penalty for a DUI is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine as well as other collateral and probationary conditions established by the court.  

DUI Grid

If charged with a DUI, you need an experienced DUI attorney who is well versed in the subtle intricacies of DUI law.  In Washington, a DUI is a serious criminal charge with significant collateral consequences including, but not limited to, mandatory confinement, mandatory fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and five years of probation.

It is imperative you act quickly to safeguard your rights and to protect your privilege to drive.   A DUI arrest triggers two separate acts that could your suspend or revoke your driver’s license:  (1) An administrative process through the Department of Licensing to suspend your license and (2) Revocation of your license through a DUI conviction through the Court.  You need an experienced DUI attorney who is knowledgeable about both proceedings.

On September 28, 2013, the Legislature enacted the following changes to RCW 46.61.5055: 

BAC Result under .15 or No Test Result

  No Prior Offenses One Prior Offense 2 or 3 Prior Offenses
Mandatory Jail Time 24 consecutive hours 30 days 90 days
If Passenger under 16 Mandatory Jail Time Additional 24 hours Additional 5 days Additional 10 days
EHM/Jail Alternative 15 Days in Lieu of Jail 60 Days Mandatory/ 4 Days Mail Minimum 120 Days Mandatory/8 Days Jail Minimum
Mandatory Minimum Fine

 

$940.50 $1,195.50 $2,045.50
If Passenger under 16 Minimum/Range $1,000/$1,000-$5,000 + assessments $1,000/$2,000-$5,000 + assessments $1,000/$3,000-$5,000 + assessments
Drivers License 90-day suspension 2-year revocation 3-year revocation
II Drivers License II Device DOL Imposed DOL Imposed DOL Imposed
If Passenger under 16 II Device Additional 6 months Additional 6 months Additional 6 months
24/7 Sobriety Program N/A As Ordered Mandatory
Alcohol/Drug Ed./Victim Impact or Treatment As Ordered As Ordered As Ordered
Expanded alcohol assessment/treatment N/A As Ordered Mandatory/treatment if appropriate

See http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/content/duigrid/duiGrid_20130928.pdf

BAC Result OVER .15 or Test Refusal

  No Prior Offenses One Prior Offense 2 or 3 Prior Offenses
Mandatory Jail Time 48 consecutive hours 45 days 120 days
If Passenger under 16 Mandatory Jail Time Additional 24 hours Additional 5 days Additional 10 days
EHM/Jail Alternative 30 Days in Lieu of Jail 90 Days Mandatory/ 6 Days Mail Minimum 150 Days Mandatory/10 Days Jail Minimum
Mandatory Minimum Fine $1,190.50 $1,620.50 $2,895.50
If Passenger under 16 Minimum/Range $1,000/$1,000-$5,000 + assessments $1,000/$2,000-$5,000 + assessments $1,000/$3,000-$5,000 + assessments
Drivers License 1 year Revocation; 2 years if BAC Refused 900-Days Revocation; 3 years if BAC refused 4 year Revocation
II Drivers License II Device DOL Imposed DOL Imposed DOL Imposed
If Passenger under 16 II Device Additional 6 months Additional 6 months Additional 6 months
24/7 Sobriety Program N/A As Ordered Mandatory
Alcohol/Drug Ed./Victim Impact or Treatment As Ordered As Ordered As Ordered
Expanded alcohol assessment/treatment N/A As Ordered Mandatory/treatment if appropriate

See http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/content/duigrid/duiGrid_20130928.pdf

Does a DUI affect my commercial driver’s license?

There are also very serious consequences for those who have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).  With a DUI arrest and a breath test at or above a .08 or a breath test refusal, the DOL will move to suspend or revoke your underlying driver’s license for at least 90 days.  Without this license, you cannot have a CDL.  If you lose the DOL hearing, you will be disqualified from holding a CDL for either 1 year (first offense) or for life (second offense).  If the DUI charge is reduced to a Reckless Driving, you will lose your CDL for 60 days or 120 days if there have been two or more “serious traffic violations” within the previous three years.  If the DUI charge is reduced to a Negligent Driving 1st Degree, there is no CDL disqualification.  Lastly, entering into a deferred prosecution will not save your CDL.  A deferred prosecution will stay the revocation of your underlying drivers license, but your CDL will still be disqualified.  You would have to win your DOL hearing on your underlying license to keep your CDL.


This web page is for informational purposes only. Visitors should not rely upon information on this web page as a substitute for personal legal advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. Contact us If you have an individual legal problem so we can help you with your issue.