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Consequences of DUI in Washington

Washington is known as one of the strictest and harshest states when is comes to DUI penalties. Depending on whether this is your first, second, or third offense, your consequences may be different. Also, the exact punishment may depend on the judge’s discretion and the severity of the offence. However, in general, the punishments, according to the Washington DOL, are as follows:

1. First DUI Offense

a. 24 hours to 1 year in jail

b. $865.50 to $5,000 in fines

c. License suspension for 90 days to one year

d. Ignition interlock device required

2. Second DUI Offense

a. 30 days to 1 year in jail

b. $1,120.50 to $5,000 in fines

c. License suspension for 2 years to 900 days

d. Ignition interlock device required

3.Third DUI Offense

a.90 days to 1 year in jail

b.$1,970.50 to $5,000 in fines

c.License suspension for 3 to 4 years

d.Ignition interlock device required

An ignition interlock device may be similar to a Breathalyzer, except it’s connected to your car’s ignition system. It will prevent your car’s engine from starting up unless you breathe into it and your blood alcohol levels are below the legal limit.

The sentencing rules may get a bit more complicated because, for many individuals, knowing when they are legal to drive or illegal can be difficult. Washington’s changes to the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) levels a few years ago, plus the differences for age groups and types of vehicle, may all make it that much more difficult. In summary, the state of Washington considers you to be driving under the influence if your BAC is above .02% if you’re under 21. For individuals older than 21, the legal limit is .08%. Finally, the legal limit for individuals driving a commercial vehicle is .04%. Keep in mind, depending on your vehicle type and your age, the judge may also see it fit to alter your sentencing.

Implied Consent

The state of Washington also has implied consent laws in place. These laws basically mean that you may be required to take a BAC test (either the chemical test or the Breathalyzer test) if a police officer has arrested you with probable cause of DUI. The accuracy of BAC tests may vary but you may even be arrested for DUI if you were not actually driving your vehicle at the time. For example, if an officer finds you at the side of the road because you pulled over when you realized you couldn't drive, the officer may still arrest you with probable cause of DUI. However, you still do have the right to refuse the test.

There may be a different set of consequences for those refusing to take the test. The first offence may lead to a one year license suspension, the second may lead to a two year suspension, and the third offense may get you a three year license suspension.

Experienced Washington DUI Attorney

It may be the case that only an experienced Washington DUI attorney can look at your individual case and make an accurate judgment as to what the consequences you face may be. DUI in the state of Washington is a serious offence that may oftentimes have life-altering consequences. That’s why you may want to have an experienced Washington DUI lawyer by your side to help you through the process, build you a defense, and fight for both your license and your freedom.

At Murphy’s law offices, our expert Tacoma DUI lawyers will work with you to find you the best course of action and guide you every step of the way. Contact Dan Murphy’s Law Offices today for a free consultation.

Call today — (253) 312-6122 — your future may depend on it.

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Two Convenient Office Locations

King County Office
33515 10th Place South, #17
Federal Way, WA 98063



Pierce County Office
506 S. 11th St.
Tacoma, WA 98402



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Practice Areas

  • DUI Cases
  • Criminal Defense
  • Auto Accidents
  • Personal Injury
  • Drug Forfeiture
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Murphy’s Law Offices
506 S. 11th St.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: (253) 312-6122

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