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Seattle DUI Penalties

Seattle Gross Misdemeanor DUI Penalties

If a person is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Seattle, under Washington law RCW 46.61.502 they can face misdemeanor or felony penalties. Most DUI offenses are charged as gross misdemeanors. The penalties for a conviction increase based on whether or not the defendant had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), refused a sobriety test or had any prior convictions in the past 7 years. A person who was convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence of an "intoxicating liquor, marijuana or any drug" will face the following gross misdemeanor penalties according to RCW 46.61.5055 guidelines:

  • First DUI conviction in seven years:
    • If the defendant had a BAC under 0.15:
      • 1 to 364 days of jail time including
      • 24 hours of consecutive incarceration that may not be suspended*
      • A fine of at least $350 but not more than $5000
      • 90 days of driver's license suspension
    • If the defendant had a BAC of 0.15 or more or refused a sobriety test:
      • 2 to 364 days of jail time including
      • 48 hours of consecutive incarceration that may not be suspended*
      • A fine of at least $500 but not more than $5000
      • 1 year of driver's license suspension, 2 years if a sobriety test was refused

*In lieu of jail time, the defendant may opt for home monitoring if the court rules that incarceration would be a threat to their “physical or mental well-being”. The defendant is responsible for all monitoring costs in these situations.

  • Second DUI conviction in seven years:
    • If the defendant had a BAC under 0.15:
      • 30 to 364 days of jail time including 30 days of incarceration that may not be suspended
      • An additional 60 days of electronic home monitoring (or an additional 4+ days of jail time)
      • A fine of at least $500 but not more than $5000
      • 2 years of driver's license suspension
      • Alcohol assessment and a treatment program, if needed
    • If the defendant had a BAC of 0.15 or more or refused a sobriety test:
      • 45 to 364 days of jail time including 45 days of incarceration that may not be suspended
      • An additional 90 days of electronic home monitoring (or an additional 6+ days of jail time)
      • A fine of at least $750 but not more than $5000
      • 900 days of driver's license suspension, 3 years if a sobriety test was refused
      • Alcohol assessment and a treatment program, if needed
  • Third or Fourth DUI conviction in seven years:
    • If the defendant had a BAC under 0.15:
      • 90 to 364 days of jail time including 90 days of incarceration that may not be suspended
      • An additional 120 days of electronic home monitoring (or an additional 8+ days of jail time)
      • A fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $5000
      • Six months of 24/7 sobriety monitoring
      • Alcohol assessment and a treatment program, if needed
      • 3 years of driver's license suspension
    • If the defendant had a BAC of 0.15 or more or refused a sobriety test:
      • 120 to 364 days of jail time including 120 days of incarceration that may not be suspended
      • An additional 150 days of electronic home monitoring (or an additional 10+ days of jail time)
      • A fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $5000
      • Six months of 24/7 sobriety monitoring
      • 4 years of driver's license suspension
      • Alcohol assessment and a treatment program, if needed

Seattle Felony DUI Penalties

In some cases, a person charged with DUI will not face gross misdemeanor charges, but instead class C felony charges. In Washington, felony offenses are rated as Classes A, B or C depending on the seriousness. Class A charges are the strictest felony charges and Class C are the lightest. Still, all felony charges should be taken seriously. A person can be charged with felony DUI in Seattle if they are convicted of a DUI crime and any of the following are true:

  • They have four or more prior alcohol or drug DUI convictions from the past in the past 10 years
  • They have previously been convicted of:
    • Vehicular homicide while DUI
    • Vehicular assault while DUI
    • Any comparable charge to vehicular homicide or vehicular assault in another state
    • Any prior conviction for a felony DUI

A Class C felony conviction will include the following penalties:

  • Incarceration in a state correctional institution for up to five years OR
  • A fine of up to $10,000 OR
  • A combination of imprisonment and fine

Seattle DUI Defense

If you have been arrested for DUI in Seattle and are concerned about the penalties that you face, contact our office right now. Attorney Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who now works to help people just like you fight their DUI charges and avoid the penalties of a conviction. Call now to set up a free consultation with attorney Karimi in order to discuss your case.

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Contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi for a free consultation by calling us at 206-621-8777 or by completing the form in the sidebar. You will be put in touch with an top rated Seattle DUI attorney who will listen to you.

Seattle DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with DUI in Seattle or the surrounding area, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi. He has the skills and the experience to get you the best possible results. Do not trust your future to just anyone, get an experienced professional to defend you.