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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 and White, PLLC, our lawyers offer an initial case analysis to identify ways to attack the prosecutor’s case against you. With offices in Tacoma & Vashon, our attorneys handle DUI cases throughout western Washington state in Pierce County, Kitsap County and Thurston County, along with all the cities in those counties (Municipal Courts).

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

First offense DUI with BAC of .08 to less than .15
Jail time24 consecutive hours to one year
Electronic home monitoring15 days in lieu of jail
Fine$940.50 to $5,000
Driver's license suspension90-day revocation
Ignition interlockDOL Imposed
Alcohol/drug education or treatmentAs 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 can come off your record by vacate.

Contrarily, some factors “aggravate” your DUI. An accident is exactly that 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.

To discuss your case with our Tacoma DUI defense lawyers, call (253) 203-1645 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.

Client Reviews
I was represented by James White and have been nothing but satisfied with the outcome. Jame is very efficient and eliminates much of the stress that the judicial system can place on an offender. I am very grateful to have such a great attorney and owe him my gratitude for helping me when times were rough. Not only is he professional, but he is also someone you can talk to on a personal level. I highly recommend James White and would undoubtedly use him again in the future. If you are in search of an attorney, do yourself a favor and have the law offices of Smith & White represent you. Mike D.
I contacted James after my charge for reckless endangerment, and right from the start he was informative and reassuring. James worked hard to get me the best possible outcome, and was always very quick to return a call or text. He was straightforward and honest with me about my case, explaining both the good and the bad in a way that was reassuring without being misleading. Overall, I highly recommend Smith and White to anyone who is looking for the most professional representation in their legal matters. Matthew B.
Attorney James White was a beacon of hope for me at a time when my options appeared limited and the likeness of a satisfactory resolution seemed close to nothing. Not only was he able to defend me in a specific sticky situation in which I hired him for, I felt as though he also went above and beyond in efforts to provide me with the best outcome possible. His calm and professional demeanor offered such a great assurance to myself and those I care about around me. I am completely grateful for his service and I most definitely recommend Mr. White. Leyasha J.
Derek Smith guided us through a troubling legal situation with absolute professionalism. This was my first experience with a trial situation and Mr. Smith was able to address all of my questions and concerns in a way that helped address some of the fear I had regarding the legal system. Mr. Smith was highly effective during the trial and the result ended up in our favor. Legal troubles are scary and it was great knowing we had a fantastic legal team on our side to help navigate the somewhat confusing situation. My wife and I emphatically recommend this law firm. Steve B.
Mr. Smith was wonderful to work with. He was professional, knowledgeable and effective!! He takes the time to listen, which is amazing and can be a hard quality to find! He is informative and straight forward, which I truly appreciate! He was quite helpful on another matter that I asked his advise on. Thank you!!! Melika