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Repeat DUI Offender Laws in Washington State

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Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Washington state. Alcohol and drugs significantly impair memory, judgment, concentration, motor skills, alertness, and many other functions necessary for safe driving. 

People who commit DUIs can face severe penalties, from license suspension to jail time. A first-time DUI offense carries significant consequences—but second, third, and subsequent arrests can result in even more serious implications. 

Washington DUI Laws

Driving while intoxicated is extremely dangerous and illegal. According to Washington law, a person may be charged with a DUI if he or she meets any of the following criteria.

  • A blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher
  • A blood THC level of 5.0 per millimeter or higher
  • A BAC of .04 or higher as a commercial driver
  • A BAC of .02 or higher if under the age of 21

A driver may also be charged with a DUI while under the influence of an intoxicating substance or any combination of drugs or alcohol. Drugs may include illicit and controlled substances like marijuana and narcotics, but also prescription and over-the-counter medications that have an intoxicating effect.

Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Washington

A first-time DUI conviction can result in severe penalties. You will face at least two days in jail, up to 364 days, or be subject to at least 15 days of electronic home monitoring. You will need to pay fines up to $5,000, face a license suspension for at least 90 days, and use an ignition interlock device for at least one year. 

If your BAC was 0.15 or higher, or if you refused to take a breathalyzer test, the penalties will be more severe. Your license could be suspended for up to two years, and you will need to spend at least 48 consecutive hours in jail or 30 days under electronic home monitoring. Additionally, all DUI convictions in Washington come with a five-year probation.

Second and Third DUI Penalties in Washington State

The state will escalate DUI penalties for second, third, and subsequent offenses. If you are facing a second DUI conviction, you will spend at least 30 days in jail up to 364 days or spend at least 60 days under electronic home monitoring. 

You will need to pay a fine up to $5,000 and face a two-year license revocation.  You may need to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle and complete an alcohol or drug treatment program, as ordered by the court.

For a third or fourth DUI offense, you will face the following penalties.

  • A fine up to $5,000
  • A three-year license revocation
  • Mandatory enrollment in a 24/7 sobriety program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device 
  • A minimum of 90 days in jail up to 364 days or at least 120 days under electronic home monitoring

What to Do After a DUI Arrest in Washington

If you are facing a DUI conviction in Washington state, it is important to speak with a defense attorney as soon as possible. The penalties for these crimes can be severe, especially if you have previous offenses on your record. 

After your arrest, remain silent and do not make any statements to the responding police officers. To avoid additional penalties, comply with their orders and take a breathalyzer test as needed. As soon as you are able, contact a Washington DUI defense attorney to discuss your case.

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