Instances of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are ever-present in Washington state--over the past few weeks alone, 96 individuals were arrested for driving under the influence in the Spokane area. The string of DUI arrests was due in part to the state of Washington increasing police patrolling to watch for drunk drivers. During the two-and-a-half week period of "emphasis patrols," which took place just before Christmas to shortly after the New Year's Day, one deadly car wreck was caused by drunk driving in the state.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Washington, finding a criminal defense attorney to help you with your charge is crucial. When you are armed with a seasoned criminal defense attorney, you have a much better chance at a positive outcome.
DUI Laws in Washington
In Washington, an individual can be charged with DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Washington classifies a person as driving under the influence if he or she has the following blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest:
- 0.02% if the person is 20 years old or younger;
- 0.04% if the individual is a commercial driver driving a commercial vehicle; or
- 0.08% if the person is 21 years of age or older.
Although the state has legalized the use of recreational marijuana, a person can nevertheless be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs in Washington. A DUI charge can occur if an individual is driving while having a concentration of more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood after smoking or using marijuana.
Penalties for DUI in Washington
Washington maintains some of the most stringent DUI laws in the country. The state imposes mandatory minimum penalties upon those who are convicted of driving under the influence for the first time. Maximum penalties for first-time DUI convictions in Washington state can include:
- Up to one year in jail;
- A 90-day license suspension;
- A mandatory ignition interlock for one year;
- A fine of up to $5,000.00;
- Five years of probation; and
- The completion of an alcohol evaluation and/or treatment program.
If your BAC was 0.15% or more at the time of your arrest, or if you refused to submit to chemical testing, you are subject to even harsher penalties upon conviction, including heftier fines and a driver's license suspension for up to two years.
Facing a DUI Charge? Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love has been charged with driving under the influence in Washington, it's important to seek legal assistance from a competent attorney who knows the ins and outs of defending against DUI charges. A DUI conviction can lead to a loss of your driving privileges, which can have a devastating impact on your way of life. Don't wait until it is too late to obtain the representation you need to defend against your charge--to schedule a free consultation to speak with Steve Karimi about your charges, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (206) 621-8777 today.