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  5. DUI Laws In Washington
  6.  – Second or Third Offense DUI

Second or Third Offense DUI

For each DUI conviction you receive in Washington state, the penalties increase. However, you should not consider your situation hopeless. Our lawyers have had good success in getting second and even third offense DUIs reduced to reckless driving. This is important because a reckless driving charge does not have the punishments listed below. Alternatively, you may be eligible to pursue a treatment option that also gets you out of the mandatory penalties listed below.

At The Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC, our lawyers offer a expert consultation to discuss your case. With our main office in Tacoma, our attorneys handle DUI cases in Tacoma, Kent, Olympia and Port Orchard.

The following chart provides an overview of the penalties you face for a second or third DUI conviction within seven years with a BAC of .08 to less than .15:

Second Offense Third Offense
Jail time 30 days to one year, plus 90 days to one year, plus
Electronic home monitoring 60 days mandatory, plus 120 days mandatory, plus
Fine $1,120.50 to $5,000 $1,970.50 to $5,000
Driver’s license suspension Two-year revocation, plus Three-year revocation, plus
Ignition interlock Required to drive, plus Required to drive, plus
Alcohol/drug education or treatment As ordered, plus As ordered, plus
Probation Five Years Five Years

The minimum penalties increase substantially if your blood alcohol content was above .15 or you refused to take a Breathalyzer or blood test.

Other penalties include:

  • Possible job loss
  • Permanent criminal record that cannot be vacated or expunged
  • You can be prohibited from leaving the state
  • In Canada, any DUI on your record is considered a felony and Canada will not let you enter that Country with a DUI.

Learn more about felony DUI charges.

Unlike a First Offense, the Prosecutor Will NOT Easily Reduce the Charge

For this reason, you’ll need a bold, veteran defense attorney. You’ll likely need a creative, detailed, highly worked challenge to the State’s case to have any hope of reduction. Absent a reduction, you’ll need the same for a hope of winning your trial. The chance of a trial goes up significantly on a second or subsequent offense because the penalties are so severe.

Our attorneys can look at the testing records of the BAC machine. We can make sure the machine was properly tested. We can review if the testing was timely. We can see how the test has performed in the time period before you test to make sure the machine does not have a history of malfunction. We can review the testing of the external standard (the bubbling vat attached to the machine) to make sure it was properly prepared. Errors with any of these procedures can invalidate your test result and greatly improve your chances of winning your case. We can review the confidence interval analysis, basically the margin of error on the machine, to see if there was a chance you were under the legal limit.

There are dozens of other potential challenges we can bring to improve you case for trial or for reduction. Were you lawfully contacted? Did the Officer/Trooper engage in illegal search and seizure of your person? Were you validly read your rights? Were you informed of the implied consent Statute and knowingly make a decision as to your BAC or Blood draw? These are just some examples of the challenges that can be brought against your DUI charge to avoid these increased penalties.

There is a Treatment Option

Your ace in the hole, which is worth saving if possible because you only get one substance related treatment option for a DUI in your lifetime, is to pursue a Deferred Prosecution (DP). A DP has many pitfalls and requires considerable paperwork such that is best to have an attorney assist with pursuing this option. Plus, you’ll want to make sure you do not have another good alternative before using this avenue of last resort. A Deferred Prosecution is not an easy course. However, it can be better than suffering a DUIs penalties, especially if the Jail time may cause you to lose a job or otherwise suffer a severe negative consequence. We offer a reduced fee for assisting with Petitioning for a Deferred Prosecution since it is not as much work as preparing for a jury trial.

Contact Our Tacoma Lawyers for a Second or Third Offense DUI

Call 253-363-8662 to discuss your case with our Tacoma DUI defense attorneys, or send us an e-mail through this website. We will arm you with the information you need to make sound decisions about your case.