Not only is driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol illegal in Washington, it is incredibly dangerous for you and those around you. In Washington, a person can be guilty of DUI while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any drug or substance that alters the mind of the driver AND:
- “The person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood; or
- The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood; or
- While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
- While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.”
Typically, a first-time conviction of DUI will land you with a gross misdemeanor. However, if you manage to be convicted with multiple DUIs or cause bodily harm or death to another while driving under the influence, the penalties rise exponentially.
Vehicular Homicide in Washington
When someone dies due to a car accident caused by a person who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Washington calls this “vehicular homicide.” In order to meet the threshold that Washington law a set forth, a person must meet the following specific conditions:
- A death occurred due to injuries sustained from a car accident; and
- The driver was under the influence of alcohol or another substance in accordance with the DUI law stated above; and
- “The driver operated the vehicle in a reckless manner; and
- The driver operated the vehicle with a disregard for the safety of others.”
As you can imagine, there are several penalties that can arise as a result of being convicted of vehicular homicide. Under Washington law, vehicular homicide is considered a class A felony and this sentence carries the steepest penalties in the United States. The maximum penalties for a vehicular homicide charge can include the following:
- Life in prison;
- Up to $50,000 in fines;
- Driver's license suspension; and
- The installation of ignition interlock devices.
This list is by no means exhaustive and there are penalties that may have a lasting impact and stick with you for the rest of your life. If you have been arrested for vehicular homicide, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Seattle DUI Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, or any DUI related charges, in the Seattle area then you need strong legal representation as soon as possible. Attorney Steve Karimi is a highly experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney who will fight hard to ensure a just outcome in your case. Mr. Karimi was named a rising star in criminal defense by Washington Law & Politics magazine and is a top-rated criminal defense lawyer in the King County area. Do not hesitate to protect your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.