What You Need to Know about DUI Penalties in Washington State

Having as much information as possible will give you a sense of power in what seems to be a hopeless time.  It is important that you know everything there is to know about what can happen to you after a DUI related offense.

If you are a resident of Washington State and you were arrested for a DUI two things will happen. First you will have a civil case. This is where you can request a hearing with the Department of Licensing (DOL); second there is the criminal case.  There are penalties with both of these proceedings. 


Washington DOL

Once you are convicted of a DUI in the Washington State, the DOL can take away your privilege to drive. You make also be required to have to install an ignition interlocking device (IID) on the vehicles that your drive http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/ignitioninterlock.html. You will need to breathe into this apparatus and pass the breath test in order to start your vehicle.  You must do this every time you start your car.


More often than not you have about twenty days from the day that you are arrested in which to request a hearing with the Washington DOL. If for any reason that you miss this 20-day deadline, your request will be denied and you will automatically be relieved of your driving privileges immediately. 


Washington State's DUI Criminal Penalties

Washington’s penalties vary depending on your specific offense and if you have any prior DOL convictions. For any DUI conviction, minimal jail-time is 24 hours. A judge may give you a sentence up to 365 days. If for any reason that you decided you did not want to partake in a breath test when you were being arrested the minimum sentence could be raised.  Also, if your case involves vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide you could face a sentence that could be much longer. 


You and Your Driving Privileges

The courts of Washington State have the right to suspend or revoke your license if you have been convicted of a DUI, the judge can do this even if the DOL does not.   Remember the DUI suspension and the DOL suspension are different. 


If you have any more questions please give us a call.


Written By Natalia Novacek :)