State Laws

Washington DUI Laws


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 year.

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 as $5,000.

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.

See also:
Washington Felony
Washington Gun Laws
Washington Divorce
Washington Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Washington Expungement External link (opens in new window)