Washington DUI Law

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

When faced with a Washington DUI arrest and/or conviction, there are a number of issues to consider: Will you have to serve jail time? If so, for how long? Or is probation a possibility? What will you owe in fines? Will your license be suspended, and for how long? Will you have to go to a DUI school or do community service? Here are the basic laws regarding Washington DUI fines and sentencing.

Washington DUI/DWI Glossary of Terms
Washington DUI/DWI Insurance Consequences
What Happens When You Get Stopped for Drunk Driving?
How Does a Drunk Driving Conviction Affect Your Record?

First Washington DUI Offense:

Washington Criminal Status: Gross misdemeanor for per se and high, misdemeanor for anyone under 21 years of age.

Jail: BAC Per Se: 1st offense: No less than one day nor more than one year imprisonment. Imprisonment may not be suspended or deferred unless the court finds that imprisonment would impose a substantial risk to the offender’s physical or mental well-being. Instead of imprisonment, the court may order a 15-day electronic home monitoring (EHM) device be installed at the offender’s expense. EHM may also include an alcohol detection breathalyzer.

High BAC: Imprisonment of not less than 2 days nor more than one year. Imprisonment may not be suspended or deferred unless the court finds that imprisonment would impose a substantial risk to the offender’s physical or mental well-being. Instead of imprisonment, the court may order a 15-day electronic home monitoring (EHM) device be installed at the offender’s expense. EHM may also include an alcohol detection breathalyzer.

Washington DUI Fines/Costs:
BAC Per se: Not less than $350 nor more than $5,000.
High BAC or test refusal: Not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
In addition:

  • A $125 fee is assessed to a person who is either convicted, sentenced to a lesser charge, or given deferred prosecution, as a result of an arrest. The fee goes to the WA State Toxicology Laboratory.
  • A $500 fee is assessed to support the victim’s compensation fund and an assessment of 60% of the fine imposed to fund safety and education programs.

Washington License Suspension:
1st Offense BAC Per Se: 90 days
1st Offense High BAC or refusal of test: 1 year

Violation of Zero Tolerance Law:
90 day suspension

Washington Conditional License: Conditional licensing is allowed for 1st time offenders after a mandatory suspension period has been served.

Vehicle Impound: none

Washington DUI School: Yes, generally, an 8-hour program. Check with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, for a list of approved DUI schools.

Washington Probation: At court’s discretion.

Washington Community Service: At court’s discretion.

 

Second Washington DUI Offense Plus:

Washington Criminal Status: Gross misdemeanor for per se and high, misdemeanor for anyone under 21 years of age.

Jail: 30 days jail time, one year maximum, and 60 days of electronic home monitoring.

Washington DUI Fines/Costs:
Second offense when BAC is less than .15: at least $500, not to exceed $5,000.
Second offense when BAC is at least .15: at least $750, not to exceed $5,000.
In addition:

  • A $125 fee is assessed to a person who is either convicted, sentenced to a lesser charge, or given deferred prosecution, as a result of an arrest. The fee goes to the WA State Toxicology Laboratory.
  • A $500 fee is assessed to support the victim’s compensation fund and an assessment of 60% of the fine imposed to fund safety and education programs.

Washington License Suspension:
BAC Per se: 2 years
High BAC or refusal of test: 90 days

Violation of Zero Tolerance Law:
One year or until age 21, whichever is greater.

Washington Conditional License: Statute is silent for 2nd time offenders.

Vehicle Impound: None

Washington DUI School: Yes, generally, an 8-hour program. Check with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, for a list of approved DUI schools.

Washington Probation: At court’s discretion.

Washington Community Service: At court’s discretion.

 

Other:

Commercial Vehicle: 0.04 BAC, one year license disqualification and payment of fines.
Under Age: 21
Washington Open Container Laws: Yes. Driver and passenger.
How long does a DUI stay on your record? A DUI in Washington stays on your driving record forever.
Driver Responsibility Tax: N/A.
Ignition interlock device program: IID required for a time period calculated from the date the person is eligible to reinstate from the suspension, revocation or denial imposed as a result of the conviction. 60 day IID requirement for DUI conviction of anyone under 16 years of age.

More Washington DUI Information – Washington DUI Lawyers & ConvictionsWashington DUI Statutes, ResourcesDo you need a DUI Lawyer?Post your Case to an Washington DUI Attorney. No Cost. No Obligation.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption