Driving under the influence is a serious criminal infraction in Washington that can cost tens of thousands of dollars in fines, restitution auto repairs, as well as time in jail or prison. If charged with a DUI in Washington, a criminal attorney may be able to assist a defendant in “plea bargaining” charges under the state's “Rules of the Road” statute of “negligent driving in the first degree” (WA Rev. Code Ann. § 46.61.5249 (2016)).
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,092 persons were killed in crashes involving a driver with BAC >= .08 g/dL in Washington State in 2018. While coordinated law and enforcement and public health task force prevention campaign measures have made a significant impact on the number of driving under the influence cases the state annually, alcohol-related accidents, DUI misdemeanors, and felonies continue to be a top public safety issue in court.
Washington DUI suspects are generally subject to “implied consent” law, requiring a motorist to take a breath test, or blood test if there is a search warrant involved, to determine blood alcohol levels at the time of arrest. The consequences for breath or blood test refusal are a one-year suspension of a driver's license for a first offense, and a two-year license suspension for a second or third offense with one prior refusal or DUI suspension in the past seven years. A BAC of .02% or more sustains DUI conviction of motorists under the age of 21 years old.
Conviction of DUI offenses in Washington is guided by the state's sentencing laws. Defendants convicted in a first time DUI offense may be subject to one or more punitive actions by the court:
- one day of jail time
- 15 days of electronic home monitoring
- 30 days in a lockdown sobriety program (BAC -.15%)
- two days jail and 30 days EHM
- 120 days in a 24/7 program (BAC is +.15% or refusal of a breath or blood test)
In Washington, the law requires that DUI offenders install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles for at least one year on conviction.
DUI Representation in Court
When a defendant is convicted of charges of DUI and reckless driving, they can also expect to have their driver's license suspended following citation. DUI convicted motorists are also subject to auto insurance company scrutiny and higher auto insurance rates in the years immediately following a conviction. A licensed attorney at law experienced in matters of DUI defense will assist a client in reducing the cost of conviction.
DUI Attorney Seattle
Attorney at Law Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor. Contact Karimi Law Firm for representation in a DUI or other criminal law case.