3rd DUI Offense in Seattle
In the state of Washington, anyone who is convicted of DUI or Driving Under the Influence will be subject to penalties such as fines, jail time and license suspension. These penalties are increased when the suspect has been previously convicted of multiple DUI offenses. They are referred to as repeat offenders and lawmakers look to crackdown on these types of offenders. If you have been arrested for DUI in Seattle and have 2 or 3 prior DUI convictions on your record, call a defense lawyer right away to start building your defense.
The Penalties of a 3rd DUI in Washington
Washington law expressly states that offenders with prior DUI conviction will be subject to steeper penalties depending on the severity of their offense as well as the number of prior convictions on their record. Anyone who is convicted of DUI in Washington and has been convicted for two or three prior offenses that occurred within the past seven years will be subject to penalties listed under RCW 46.61.5055.
- In order for a prior offense to be considered under this law, the defendant must have been convicted, pled guilty to, or pled no contest to either of the following offenses with in the past 7 years of their most recent arrest:
- RCW 46.61.504 - Physical Control Of Vehicle Under The Influence
DUI offenses under this law occur when a suspect is accused of being in "actual physical control" of a car or vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of 0.08 or more, marijuana with a THC concentration of 5.00 or more, or while affected by an intoxicating liquor or drug. This can include a combination of alcohol and drugs or any type of drugs such as illegal, prescription or even over-the-counter drugs such as sleep aids that can cause drowsiness or other side effects. Under this law, a suspect does not have to be driving the vehicle but simply behind the wheel or acting in some way to lead law enforcement to believe that they intended or did drive the vehicle in an impaired state.
- RCW 46.61.502 - Driving Under The Influence
This law is more commonly associated with a typical DUI case. It involves a suspect driving a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, a THC concentration of 5.00 or more, while physically impaired by an intoxicating liquor or drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Anyone that tests positive for alcohol or drugs over the legal limit within two hours after driving can be subject to a criminal charge under this law.
- The second factor in determining the penalties for a third or fourth repeat DUI offender is the severity of their case if alcohol was involved.
- If the defendant had an alcohol concentration that is considered low (less than 0.15), or who does not have accurate test results due to reasons other than sobriety test refusal, they will face penalties including a fine of $1000-$5000. They will also be subject to 90 days to one year of jail time, a six-month period of 24/7 sobriety monitoring as well as 120 days of house arrest.
- If a high BAC (0.15 or more) is involved, the suspect will be subject to a fine of $1500-$5000, 120 days to one year in jail, a six-month sobriety monitoring program and 150 days of electronic home monitoring.
In addition to these penalties, anyone convicted of a third or fourth DUI in Washington will lose their driver's license for a given period of time. For a conviction involving a low BAC, a 3 year suspension will be instated. For a conviction involving a high BAC, a 4 year suspension will be instated. Drivers who refused to take a sobriety test will be subject to 4 years of license suspension as well.
Third Washington DUI Defense Lawyer
There are a number of reasons that lawmakers look to punish repeat offenders more harshly the more convictions that they have. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that, statistically, people who have previously been convicted of DUI are more likely to cause accidents. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, in 2012 there were 146 fatalities in the state of Washington as the result of alcohol impaired drivers. Of this number, 33.3% of accidents involving low BAC levels involved repeat DUI offenders. Additionally, the Foundation found that 66% of high BAC accidents were caused by drivers with at least one prior DUI conviction. In order to reduce these numbers, lawmakers look to impose steeper and steeper penalties of repeat DUI violators in an attempt to discourage further offenses. If you gave been charged with DUI and have previously been convicted of 2 or more DUI offenses, contact Seattle DUI attorney Steve Karimi right now.