If it has been determined that you have been driving in Washington with
a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher then you can be arrested
for a DUI.
After the arrest, a court appearance will be schedule. In some states,
your trial could be scheduled a month later. However, if you have been
arrested for a DUI in Seattle, you will have to appear in court within
48 hours. At that first hearing, you might even find whisked off to
jail until you can raise the cash for your bail. This has made the
Seattle courts one of the busiest in the nation!
Washington DUI Penalties
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Washington are divided into two
categories: under .15 BAC or over .15 BAC. For instance a first time
DUI conviction with a BAC under .15 comes with at least one day in jail
up to one year maximum or 15 days of electronic home detection. You
could also be fined in the range of $800 to $5,000, face 90 days of
license suspension and up to five years of monitored probation which
can mean random testing.
For that same first time conviction with a BAC of .15 or higher, you'll
be sent to jail for at least two days with the potential of staying
there for up to a year or have 30 days of electronic home detection.
The minimum fine is over $1,000 and the licenses suspension is for one
If a second DUI occurs within seven years of the first conviction then
you can face a minimum of 30 days in jail plus (not "or") 60 days of
electronic home detection. With a second DUI conviction that has a
proven BAC of over .15 the jail time goes up to 45 days plus 90 days of
electronic home detection. The fines for these offenses can be as much
With a third DUI you'll be spending at least 90 days in jail with 150
days of electronic home detection and four years of license suspension.
Every level of DUI conviction in Washington also comes with mandatory
attendance in an alcohol evaluation and treatment program. You'll also
be required to obtain a special SR-22 auto insurance policy. A judge
can also require you to install an ignition interlock device which will
prevent you from starting your car unless you are sober.
Washington DUI Implied Consent Laws
With the Implied Consent laws you are required to submit to any form of
test to determine you blood alcohol content. If you refuse to take
these tests your license will be revoked for one year, you'll face a
special hearing with an additional fine of $100 and you'll need to
carry SR-22 insurance for three years.
Additional Washington DUI Laws
For minors under the legal drinking age of 21, the BAC level for a DUI
conviction drops to .02. With a commercial driver, that BAC level is
.04. These same laws apply to anyone driving a vehicle that is found to
be under the influence of marijuana, inhalants, cocaine or any other
form of intoxicants.