DUI in Washington

DUI in Washington, also sometimes referred to as a DWI, is when a person has been convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol. In the state of Washington there is also the ‘per se’ law. What this means is that you may be convicted of a DUI if caught driving with a blood alcohol that is .08 per cent or higher. If you are stopped by the police and they ask you to take a breathalyzer test, or chemical test, refusing to do so may be used against you in court. The ‘washout’ period for DUI convictions is seven years.

Washington DUI Fines and Penalties

This table outlines the general penalties for a DUI conviction in Washington. The consequences vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case, so hiring a DUI lawyer is highly recommended.

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $350-5,000
24 Hours to 1 Year
90 Days Minimum
2nd Conviction $500-5,000 30 days to 1 year 2 Years
3rd Conviction $1,000-5,000 90 days to 1-1/2 Years
3 Years

DUI convictions in Seattle

It is also important that you know that the city of Seattle has its own separate rules concerning DUI. The Municipal court of Seattle is one of the busiest courts in the entire state, so it has some rules and procedures that are different. Therefore, make sure you have a lawyer that is familiar with the procedures of Seattle. Most courts in the state of Washington may take over a month to file your case, but Seattle requires you to appear in court within the first 48 hours of the next business day. Most courthouses in the state don’t ask that bail be increased at the first court appearance, but Seattle prosecutors always seek substantial bail and pretrial release conditions on every DUI case.

Punishment in criminal court

If you are convicted of a DUI in Washington, then you face some stiff penalties. The punishment for a first time offense, and blood alcohol level under .15 percent, is the following: one day in jail (up to one year maximum), or 15 days Electronic Home Detection, a fine of $823 up to $5,000 dollars, 90 day license, and up to five years probation. If you had one prior DUI conviction in the last seven years, then you fill receive the following punishment: 30 days or up to a year in prison, 60 days Electronic Home Monitoring, a fine between $1,078 and $5,000 and a two year license revocation.

Circumstantial evidence

There is a clear difference between circumstantial and direct evidence. DUI cases are always based on circumstantial evidence such as poor driving, watery eyes, high blood alcohol, and the odor of alcohol on the breath. Even chemical tests are circumstantial because they are given half an hour after the driving. DUI in Washington is still strongly enforced regardless of the evidence used in the conviction.

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