DUI Rights Help in Washington – Washington DUI Laws
Washington state takes the offense of Driving Under the Influence very seriously. Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, and all of the other cities in this state follow the same laws and penalties when it comes to punishing those who are found to be driving drunk. With a license suspension, possible jail time, and hefty fines on the line, it is important for those who are arrested for DUI to begin fighting the charges against them as soon as they can. The professionals at DUIRights.com can help them to start build a strong defense case to bring to court and hopefully have the case dismissed.
Mandatory Reporting Laws Regarding DUI in the State of Washington
New laws regarding DUI went into effect in Washington in early 2011, specifically related to reporting the presence of a minor under the age of 13 in the vehicle during a DUI traffic stop. If the parent or legal guardian is intoxicated with the minor in the car and the arresting officer feels the child is in immediate danger, the officer then has the right to place the child in emergency custody. In addition to this change, Washington state also implemented extended restricted driving privileges by requiring the use of an IID (ignition interlock device) for those who are convicted for a drug related DUI offense.
Why You Should Know Your DUI Rights
The state of Washington does allow plea bargaining for charges of DUI, which means there is a possibility that any offender can plead guilty to a lesser charge like “wet reckless” and face lesser penalties. In order to do this, the individual will need to enlist the help of a DUI attorney who will likely ask some of the following questions to learn more about what happened during the DUI arrest and to identify if any of the individual’s rights were violated. Some of the questions asked may include:
- What was the arresting officer’s reason for stopping the vehicle?
- Did the arresting officer see the vehicle in operation and see the client driving the vehicle?
- Did the officer recite the client’s Miranda Rights? Did they ensure the client understood those rights?
- What type of sobriety testing was administered to the client, including field sobriety testing and/or a Breathalyzer test?
- Did any outside factors affect the outcome of the client’s field sobriety testing, such as inclement weather?
- Were the arresting officer’s observations of the client’s driving behavior consistent with other eye witnesses at the scene?
Protect your rights and learn how to get your Washington DUI charges dismissed. Get Started Now by filling out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges. Also, many people plead guilty prematurely based on a breath test with a result above the legal limit. This is a common and costly mistake, as there are a variety of ways in having the breath test suppressed.
If you rely solely on a public defender to help you, your chances will be limited in preserving financial security and effectively winning your case. With our help, we will show you the easy to understand steps needed to get your Washington DUI charges dismissed effectively and take back the control of your situation by being equipped with the real information and attorney you need to win your case.
DUI Laws in Washington
DUI laws and penalties in the state of Washington are much harsher than those in other states. Washington has much higher minimum jail time periods and higher fines for those who are even charged as just first time DUI offenders. Receiving a DUI conviction in this state has very serious consequences that can really disrupt a person’s day-to-day life.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
Unlike some other states offering minimum penalties for refusing to take the chemical test, Washington has very defined penalties that offenders will have to face:
- First offense – 1-Year License Suspension
- Second offense – 2-Year License Suspension
- Third offense – 3-Year License Suspension
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
While Washington does not have a zero tolerance policy for minors and drinking and driving, the BAC level that minors must stay under is very low. For those offenders who are of age, the acceptable BAC levels align with those of most other states:
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial Drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in Washington?
Washington does have minimum jail sentences for first time DUI offenders as well as repeat offenders. Courts will assign a jail sentence, either at the minimum or more, depending on the circumstances surround the DUI arrest.
- First offense – minimum of 24 hours in jail, maximum of 1 year
- Second offense – minimum of 30 days in jail, maximum of 1 year
- Third offense – minimum of 90 days in jail, maximum of 1 year
Washington currently has a 7-year lookback or “washout” period.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in Washington
Those who are convicted of DUI in Washington will also face fines as part of their punishment. Compared to other states, Washington’s fine ranges are very high:
- First offense – minimum fine of $865.50, maximum of $5,000
- Second offense – minimum fine of $1,120.50, maximum of $5,000
- Third offense – minimum fine of $1,970.50, maximum of $5,000
License Suspension for DUI in Washington
License suspension is another penalty that offenders will face in the state of Washington. An individual’s suspension, depending on the number of offenses they have and the circumstances surrounding the case, will fall somewhere between a minimum and maximum penalty.
- First offense – Minimum 90 Day License Suspension, Maximum 1 Year License Suspension
- Second offense – Minimum 2 Year License Suspension, Maximum 900 Days License Suspension
- Third offense – Minimum 3 Year License Suspension, Maximum 4 Year License Suspension
Washington requires all offenders convicted of DUI to use an Ignition Interlock Device.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Washington
The penalties for DUI conviction in the state of Washington are high – high fines, long jail sentences, and long license suspensions. Having to face these punishments can be scary, crippling, and life changing, so hiring an experienced, practiced DUI lawyer is crucial to any DUI case in Washington. In some cases, an attorney will be able to find problems within your DUI case that could possibly have your charges reduced to something less serious which is better than facing these harsh consequences. For a free case evaluation and to find an attorney in your area, fill out the Free DUI arrest evaluation form today.