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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 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 OffensesOne Prior Offense2 or 3 Prior Offenses
Mandatory Jail Time24 consecutive hours30 days90 days
If Passenger under 16 Mandatory Jail TimeAdditional 24 hoursAdditional 5 daysAdditional 10 days
EHM/Jail Alternative15 Days in Lieu of Jail60 Days Mandatory/ 4 Days Mail Minimum120 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 License90-day suspension2-year revocation3-year revocation
II Drivers License II DeviceDOL ImposedDOL ImposedDOL Imposed
If Passenger under 16 II DeviceAdditional 6 monthsAdditional 6 monthsAdditional 6 months
24/7 Sobriety ProgramN/AAs OrderedMandatory
Alcohol/Drug Ed./Victim Impact or TreatmentAs OrderedAs OrderedAs Ordered
Expanded alcohol assessment/treatmentN/AAs OrderedMandatory/treatment if appropriate

See /wp-content/uploads/sites/5837/2017/08/duiGrid_20130928.pdf

BAC Result OVER .15 or Test Refusal

No Prior OffensesOne Prior Offense2 or 3 Prior Offenses
Mandatory Jail Time48 consecutive hours45 days120 days
If Passenger under 16 Mandatory Jail TimeAdditional 24 hoursAdditional 5 daysAdditional 10 days
EHM/Jail Alternative30 Days in Lieu of Jail90 Days Mandatory/ 6 Days Mail Minimum150 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 License1 year Revocation; 2 years if BAC Refused900-Days Revocation; 3 years if BAC refused4 year Revocation
II Drivers License II DeviceDOL ImposedDOL ImposedDOL Imposed
If Passenger under 16 II DeviceAdditional 6 monthsAdditional 6 monthsAdditional 6 months
24/7 Sobriety ProgramN/AAs OrderedMandatory
Alcohol/Drug Ed./Victim Impact or TreatmentAs OrderedAs OrderedAs Ordered
Expanded alcohol assessment/treatmentN/AAs OrderedMandatory/treatment if appropriate

See /wp-content/uploads/sites/5837/2017/08/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.