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What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Washington State?

by | Jun 26, 2024 | DUI

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Washington State?

Q: What are the general penalties for a DUI conviction in Washington State?

A: The penalties for a DUI conviction in Washington State can vary significantly depending on factors such as the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest, prior DUI convictions, and whether any aggravating factors were present (e.g., causing an accident, having a minor in the vehicle). While the general penalties are listed below, the penalties have been updated almost yearly by a legislature.  For a current schedule please see the Washington State Court Page for DUI Sentencing Grid.  https://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.contribute&formID=21  Here are the general penalties as they exist at the time of writing:

  1. First Offense (BAC < 0.15%):
    • Jail Time: 24 hours to 364 days
    • Fines: $990.50 to $5,000
    • License Suspension: 90 days
    • Ignition Interlock Device: Per DOL
    • Additional penalties if passenger under 16 years of age.
  2. First Offense (BAC ≥ 0.15% or Test Refusal):
    • Jail Time: 48 hours to 364 days
    • Fines: $1,245.50 to $5,000
    • License Suspension: 1 year, or 2 years if BAC refused
    • Ignition Interlock Device: per DOL
    • Additional penalties if passenger under 16 years of age.
  3. Second Offense (within 7 years):
    • Jail Time: 30 days to 364 days
    • additional 60 days electronic home monitoring (house arrest)
    • Fines: $1,245.50 to $5,000
    • License Suspension: 2 years
    • Ignition Interlock Device: Per DOL
    • Additional penalties if passenger under 16 years of age.
  4. Third Offense (within 7 years):
    • Jail Time: 90 days to 364
    • additional 120 days of electronic home monitoring (house arrest)
    • Fines: $2,095.50 to $5,000
    • License Suspension: 3 years
    • Ignition Interlock Device: per DOL
    • Additional penalties if passenger under 16 years of age.

 

Q: What additional penalties may apply for a DUI conviction?

A: Additional penalties for a DUI conviction in Washington can include:

  • Alcohol/Drug Education and Treatment Programs: Mandatory participation in treatment programs.
  • Community Service: Courts may impose community service hours.
  • Probation: A period of  up to 5 years of supervised probation.  Mandatory transfer through the interstate compact to another state’s probation if moving.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: Your vehicle may be impounded at your expense.
  • Increased Insurance Premiums: DUI convictions typically result in higher auto insurance rates​.

Q: What are the specific penalties in Tacoma, Lakewood, and Puyallup?

A: While the general penalties apply statewide, there can be specific nuances in different cities:

  • Tacoma: In Tacoma, DUI cases are handled by the Tacoma Municipal Court, which strictly enforces DUI laws. Repeat offenders may face harsher penalties. The court also mandates participation in alcohol/drug education and treatment programs for first-time offenders​.  The court has a particular electronic filing system.  The city has many unique traffic statutes that might justify the initial contact.
  • Lakewood: Lakewood Municipal Court using the O’Courts system for document management.  Because of the proximity to JBLM, the court has an excellent understanding of the impact that DUI allegations have on enlisted service persons and their families.
  • Puyallup: Puyallup Municipal Court also uses the O’Courts system.  The city has implemented heightened penalties for domestic violence allegations but thus far has deferred to statewide laws and rules
  • By understanding the penalties and legal process associated with a DUI charge in Washington, and it’s individual jurisdictions, Our attorneys can better navigate an effective defense and take steps to mitigate the impact of a conviction. For specific legal advice and representation, consulting with our Tacoma DUI attorneys is highly recommended.

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