Criminal Penalties for Drunk Driving in Washington State
While many people know that drunk driving is a jailable offense, many more still do not know the full extent of the common criminal penalties assigned to those who are caught drunk driving. If you are unaware of the many punishments that come with drunk driving, continue reading. Here are the most notable penalties for drunk driving in Washington state!
The Washington State Department of Licensing imposes administrative fines on those who are drunk driving. The arrest triggers some administrative sanctions that apply even if the suspect is never convicted of a DUI in criminal court. Administrative penalties for a first DUI include:
- Per se marijuana and per se alcohol: Drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, or a THC concentration of at least five nanograms per milliliter of blood, face a 90-day administrative license suspension.
- Refusals to take a chemical test: Refusing chemical testing usually results in a one-year administrative license suspension.
All motorists convicted of a first-time DUI must install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on their vehicles for at least one year, according to the Department of Licensing. IIDs must be worn for at least 18 months by DUI first offenders who had a passenger under the age of 16 in their car at the time of the incident.
Following a DUI conviction, a criminal court will impose criminal penalties. The criminal sanctions for a first DUI include the following:
- Per se marijuana and per se alcohol: Per se marijuana, per se alcohol with a BAC under .15 percent, or impaired first-offense DUI convictions are often considered gross misdemeanors. Convicted drivers risk 1 to 364 days in prison, at least 15 days of electronic home monitoring (EHM), or 90 days in a 24/7 sobriety program if they are convicted.
- Chemical test refusal and bac or .15 or greater: Drivers who are convicted of a first-time DUI with a chemical test rejection or a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 percent or higher are usually charged with a gross misdemeanor. Convicted drivers risk 2 to 364 days in prison, at least 30 days of EHM, or 120 days in a 24-hour program if they are convicted.
Get a Lawyer
The legislation governing DUI in Washington is complicated, and each case is unique. Consult an expert DUI attorney in your region if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence. An experienced DUI attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and assist you in making the best decision possible.
We hope this article has been helpful in understanding the criminal penalties for drunk driving in Washington state. If you have recently incurred a DUI charge and are looking for a cheap SR22 form for Washington, be sure to reach out to Serenity Group for great rates and a stress-free experience!