Washington DUI LAW
 

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Washington counties - map view

Choose your Washington county to locate a DUI LAW Lawyer in your area.


 


Washington DUI video transcription

"Unlike most courts if you are arrested for DUI in Washington you will be required to appear in court within 48 hours of the next business day. In most court houses the prosecutors  do not seek to increase bail at the first court appearance;however Washington prosecutors usually request substantial bail and  free trial release conditions on all DUI cases, which can include such things such as attending AA classes, the immediate installation of  ignition interlock devices and abstinence from all alcohol. If you’ve been arrested in  DUI in the state of Washington you should contact a skilled attorney right away to protect your rights."

 Drunk driving defense is a specialized area. Let one of the qualified DUI LAWS attorneys find a solution to your legal problem if you, or someone you care about, has been arrested for DUI or DWI. Contact a Washington DUI LAWS lawyer near you for a free consultation by calling 1.800.DUI.LAWS.

Washington drunk driving cases are most commonly referred to as DUI or driving under the influence and sometimes DWI – Driving While Intoxicated. Washington does have a "per se"  law, meaning that you may be convicted of a DUI in Washington if you drive with an alcohol level of .08 or greater.

If someone is arrested for drunk driving, DUI or DWI, refusal to take a chemical test can be used against them in court, and also result in harsher penalties in court and with their driving privilege.

The washout period for prior drunk driving convictions is 7 years.

Washington DUI LAWS NOTE: The Seattle Municipal Court has special rules, and demands special attention:

The Seattle Municipal Court one of the busiest courts in Washington, and has many unique policies and procedures related to DUI arrests. It is extremely important to retain a qualified Washington DUI defense lawyer who is familiar with the prosecutors and local practices. To find a local drunk driving defense lawyer, choose your county from either the county map at the top right of this page or form the county drop-down at the top left of this page.

  1. IMMEDIATE APPEARANCE
    Most courts take up to a month or more to file your case; not Seattle. If you are arrested for a DUI in Seattle, you will be required to appear in Court within 48 hours of the next business day.
  2. FIRST APPEARANCE PRETRIAL RELEASE POLICIES - BAIL
    In most courthouses, the prosecutors do not seek to increase bail at the first court appearance. However, Seattle prosecutors usually request substantial bail and pretrial release conditions on ALL DUI cases, which can include such things as attending AA classes, the immediate installation of ignition interlock devices, and abstinence from all alcohol.

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Oftentimes, those (alleged DUI offenders) who appear unrepresented find themselves taken to jail immediately until they can post bail. NO PERSONAL CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED TO PAY FOR YOUR BAIL. Instead, you'll have to sit in jail until arrangements can be made. It is critical that an experienced DUI / DWI lawyer represent you to ensure your immediate release.

Punishment in Criminal Court

First DUI Offense First DUI Offense/ no prior DUI offense in the last 7 years and breath test under .15% or no breath test but not a refusal.

First DUI Offense One day in jail minimum, one year maximum OR 15 days Electronic Home Detection
First DUI Offense $823 total minimum fine, up to $5,000 fine
First DUI Offense 90 day license suspension
First DUI Offense SR-22 Proof of Insurance
First DUI Offense Probationary license for 5 years after reinstatement
First DUI Offense Up to five years monitored probation
First DUI Offense Ignition interlock may be ordered by the court (Min. time not specified) up to 5 years
First DUI Offense Alcohol evaluation and treatment as determined by the court (up to two years)
First DUI Offense Probation monitoring (and fees) for up to five years

First DUI Offense First DUI Offense/ no prior DUI offense in the last 7 years and breath test .15% or higher or refusal to take breath test.

First DUI Offense 2 days in jail minimum, 1 year maximum OR 30 days Electronic Home Detention
First DUI Offense $1078 total minimum, up to $5,000 fine
First DUI Offense One year license revocation
First DUI Offense SR-22 Insurance
First DUI Offense Probationary License for 5 years after reinstatement
First DUI Offense Up to five years monitored probation
First DUI Offense Ignition interlock not less than one year
First DUI Offense Alcohol evaluation and treatment as determined by the court (up to 2 years)
First DUI Offense Probation monitoring (and fees) for up to 5 years

One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years and breath test under .15% or no breath test but not a refusal.

One prior DUI Offense 30 days in jail minimum, one year maximum, PLUS 60 days Electronic Home Detention
One prior DUI Offense $1078 total minimum, up to $5,000 fine
One prior DUI Offense Two year license revocation
One prior DUI Offense Driving and knowledge exams
One prior DUI Offense SR-22 Insurance
One prior DUI Offense Probationary license for 5 years after reinstatement
One prior DUI Offense Up to five years monitored probation
One prior DUI Offense Ignition interlock for one year (if no previous interlock)
One prior DUI Offense Alcohol evaluation and treatment as determined by the court (up to two years)
One prior DUI Offense Probation monitoring (and fees) for up to five years

One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years and breath test .15% or higher or refusal to take breath test.

One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years 45 days in jail minimum, one year maximum, PLUS 90 days Electronic Home Detention
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years $1,503 total minimum, up to $5,000 fine
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years 900 day license revocation
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years Driving and knowledge exam
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years SR-22 Insurance
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years Probationary license for 5 years
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years Up to five years monitored probation
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years Ignition interlock not less than one year (if no previous interlock)
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years Alcohol evaluation and treatment as determined by the court (up to two years)
One prior DUI Offense in the last 7 years Probation monitoring (and fees) for up to five years

Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Two Prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years and breathe test under .15% or no breath test but not a refusal.

Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years 90 days in jail minimum, 1 year maximum, PLUS 120 days Electronic Home Detention
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years $1,928 total minimum, up to $5,000 fine
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Three year license revocation
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Driving and knowledge exams
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years SR-22 Insurance
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Probationary license for 5 years after reinstatement
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Up to five years monitored probation
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Ignition interlock for 1 year if no previous interlock, 5 years if a previous interlock, 10 years if two previous interlocks
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Alcohol evaluation and treatment as determined by the court (up to two years)
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Probation monitoring (and fees) for up to five years

Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Two Prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years and breath test .15% or higher or refusal to take breath test.

Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years 120 days in jail minimum, 1 year maximum, 150 days Electronic Home Detention
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years $2,778 total minimum, up to $5,000 fine
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Four year license revocation
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Driving and knowledge exams
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years SR-22 Insurance
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Probationary license for 5 years
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Up to 5 years monitored probation
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Ignition interlock not less than 1 year if no previous interlock, 5 years if a previous interlock; 10 years if two previous interlocks
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Alcohol evaluation and treatment as determined by the court (up to 2 years)
Two prior DUI Offenses in the last 7 years Probation monitoring (and fees) for up to 5 years

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DMV Penalties

Breath Test .08 or Higher

90 day license suspension 90 day license suspension.
Two year license revocation Two year license revocation if second or subsequent administrative action within seven years.

  • License is marked for 60 days
  • 30 days to request hearing
  • $100 hearing fee unless indigent
  • Hearing within 60 days of arrest
  • $150 reissue fee
  • SR-22 Insurance required 3 years thereafter
  • Occupational/Restricted License is available after 30 days on first offense, one year on second and subsequent DUI's

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Refusal To Take A Breath Test

One year license revocation One year license revocation if refused the test and no prior administrative actions within seven years.
Two year license revocation Two year license revocation if second or subsequent administrative action (refusal or breath test over legal limit) within seven years.

  • License is marked for 60 days
  • 30 days to request hearing
  • $100 hearing fee
  • Hearing within 60 days of arrest
  • $150 reissue fee
  • SR-22 Insurance required 3 years thereafter
  • One year license revocation even if driver enters into a deferred prosecution
  • Occupational/Restricted License is available after 90 days on first offense, one year on second and subsequent DUI's

Washington drivers are able to check their driver's license status online by CLICKING HERE.

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Expungements

DUI convictions cannot be vacated. There is no expungement proceeding in Washington per se. The only avenue is vacate and dismiss or sealing of a juvenile record. DUI and DUI-based felonies are forever as are sex offenses and serious violent offenses.

Circumstantial Evidence

The difference between direct and circumstantial evidence is critical to understand in drunk driving and DUI cases. Direct evidence refers to those things that are directly observed. Circumstantial evidence refers to inferences that can be drawn from other items of evidence. For example, if a witness sees water falling from the sky, that observation is direct evidence that it is raining. However, if a witness walks outside in the morning, sees puddles on the ground, sees water rushing through the rain gutters, sees water beaded up on the car, those observations are circumstantial evidence that it has rained.

DUI cases are entirely circumstantial. Evidence of poor driving, evidence of substandard Field Sobriety Tests, evidence of red and watery eyes and the odor of alcohol on the breath, these are all circumstantial evidence of impairment.

Likewise, the chemical test evidence is circumstantial evidence. It is illegal to drive above the legal limit; it is not illegal to be above the legal limit at the time of testing, which is usually at least a half-hour after driving. The later chemical test is merely circumstantial evidence of what the alcohol level was at the time of driving. If the accused gave a breath or blood test while driving, that would be direct evidence. Because of the passage of time, the evidence is, instead, circumstantial evidence.

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Reasonable Doubt

Every defendant in a criminal case (DUI included) is entitled to put the prosecution to its proof, and, unless the prosecution convinces the finder of fact (jury, or judge in states that do not allow jury trials for drunk driving cases) that defendant's guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is entitled to a judgment of not guilty.

Every lawyer has his or her own way of describing this level of proof. It is the highest burden known in the law.


Please note: Laws change frequently and thus the information provided should not be relied upon as legal advice. To be certain, contact a criminal defense attorney for a legal assistance. 1800DUILAWS.com is not liable for any misinformation that users obtain from using this site.



 

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