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Washington DUI Penalties

Your DUI arrest could not have come at a worse time. Washington DUI laws are more strict, and penalties more harsh, than ever before. Your best chance for a smooth return to the road – especially if you are a professional driver whose livelihood depends on your driving privileges – lies in your choice of Tacoma DUI defense lawyer to represent you.

At The Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC, our lawyers offer an initial case analysis to identify ways to attack the prosecutor’s case against you. With offices in Tacoma and Vashon, our attorneys handle DUI cases throughout western Washington in Pierce County, Kitsap County and Thurston County, along with all the municipal courts for cities in those counties.

The following chart provides an overview of the penalties you face for a first DUI conviction with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 to less than .15:

First offense DUI with BAC of .08 to less than .15
Jail time 24 consecutive hours to one year
Electronic home monitoring 15 days in lieu of jail
Fine $940.50 to $5,000
Driver’s license suspension 90-day revocation
Ignition interlock DOL Imposed
Alcohol/drug education or treatment As ordered

If your blood alcohol content was above .15 or you refused to take a BAC or blood test, the penalties increase to a minimum of two consecutive days in jail, $1,195.50 in fines, and one-year driver’s revocation (two years if you refused the BAC).

If there was a passenger under 16 in the vehicle then the mandatory jail and ignition interlock period are both increased.

Other penalties include:

  • Possible job loss
  • Requirement to pay SR-22 (high-risk) insurance
  • Permanent criminal record that cannot be vacated or expunged
  • Five-year probation
  • 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 penalties for second and third offense DUI.

Contact Our Tacoma DUI Defense Lawyers

The right legal challenge can result in getting your case reduced or dismissed. A reduction to reckless driving, for example, reduces the mandatory jail to none. The license suspension period is only 30 days during which you can obtain an Occupational Restricted License. This is easier to obtain and does not require the ignition interlock device. Further, the probationary period is shorted to a two-year maximum. We can discuss ways to not have active probation supervision on your case at all. Lastly, a reckless driving charge can come off your record by vacate.

Contrarily, some factors “aggravate” your DUI. An accident is exactly what people fear when they made DUI illegal. It may be hard to hold the Judge to a mandatory minimum sentence in an accident case. Similarly, if your BAC is exceptionally high then the prosecutor and/or Judge may want to give you a worse sentence. Lastly, if you’ve had prior DUIs, as mentioned earlier, then the mandatory penalties increase. This means, even if the judge has plenty of good reason for wanting to go easy on you, he or she has no choice but to impose those penalties.

For all the reasons discussed about, you’ll want a bold, veteran Tacoma DUI defense lawyer on your side. We can also answer your concerns regarding:

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