From oceans to the mountains, big cities to small towns, Washington State has it all. It’s a great place to live, but you don’t want to be a drunk driver there. Washington has really strict driving under the influence (DUI) laws, and if you’ve just been stopped or convicted of DUI in the state, you’re going to be wondering how it will affect your day-to-day life. Here’s a look at life after a DUI in Washington State.
If you’re a first offender
How do you feel about going to jail? It’s possible when you receive a DUI in Washington State. You’ll get a minimum of 1 day up to 1 year in jail for a first offense, but you could be offered 15 days of home electronic monitoring instead of jail time.
We all know that being convicted of DUI is expensive, but getting a DUI in Washington state will really empty out your bank account. For a first offense you’ll have to pay a minimum of $350. That might not seem so bad, but you could be asked to pay the maximum, and that will cost you $5,000.
It’s a given your driver’s license will be suspended, and you’ll lose your license for a minimum of 90 days up to 1 year if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15 or more. To have your driver’s license reinstated, you’ll have to install and use an ignition interlock device for one year.
If you’re a repeat offender
Choosing to repeatedly drink and drive in Washington is just the ticket to derailing your entire life. To start, you’ll have to spend a minimum of 30 days up to 1 year in jail AND be electronically monitored in your home for 120 days. Unfortunately you won’t be able to work from jail, so paying $1,000 to $5,000 in fines is going to be tough.
Repeat offenders with three offenses will kiss their driver’s license goodbye for 3 years, 4 if they were arrested with a BAC of .15 or more. If and when they do get their license back, they’ll have to drive with an ignition interlock for 10 years.
A DUI in Washington State is considered a misdemeanor until you’ve offended 4 or more times in 10 years, have a prior DUI-related vehicular homicide charge, or if you’ve ever been convicted of a felony in Washington. If you meet any of the above-mentioned criteria, your misdemeanor becomes a felony offense, and the penalties increase severely.
Washington State is a great place to live, but it’s definitely not a great place to drink and drive. Stay safe, drive sober, and hand the keys over to someone else if you’re drinking.