There are two things that need to be considered if you are charged with DUI (Driving under the influence) in the state of Washington.
First remember being charged for DUI is very serious in Washington. Your personal life, employment and your future all can be in jeopardy. So it is recommended that you take these charges very seriously. And if convicted it will have long lasting effects.
The second step if you are charged with DUI in Washington is to consult a lawyer or an attorney. Who have got reasonable experience in dealing with such cases and are fully aware of the laws regarding DUI in Washington. Here you can find lawyers who specialize in cases related to drunk driving.
What possible penalties are for the First Time Offenders?
A person is first time offender if he or she has not been involved in DUI or other such actions for 7 years. In the state of Washington you are considered to be driving under the influence if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is more than .08% and if you are under 21 or a commercial driver than the limit is .02% and .04% respectively.
The penalty for driving under influence in Washington involves spending a whole day in jail, suspension of the license for a minimum of 90 days. You may have to attend DUI’s victim panel or/and do an alcohol evaluation and follow-up treatment. Also this might lead to an installation of ignition interlock device.
There are two possible ways in which you may lose your license. First is the automatic suspension of your license if you fail the breath test or refuse to take it. This is done by the department of licensing. You can fight this case if you request within a month of being charged but you will have to pay a fee of $100 to do so. The other way of losing your license is when a criminal charge is filed against you. If convicted in such cases you may lose your license.
Possible Jail Time: If your BAC is higher than the acceptable level then you may have to stay a minimum of 24 hours in jail. In cases where BAC exceeds .15% staying for 48 hours becomes mandatory. Jail time varies from a day to a whole year depending on the charges.
Home Monitoring: For the first time offenders electronic home monitoring may be imposed by the court in lieu of minimum mandatory jail time.
Fine, Fees and Monetary Penalities: A fine may vary from $350 – $ 5,000. Considering other legal assessments this is a minimum fine of $823. This minimum fine reaches $1,078 if your BAC level was found .15%.
Refusal of Blood Alcohol Test: If you refuse to take the test then the department of licensing has the right to suspend your license for one whole year.
Suspension of Drivers License: Your drivers license can be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. In cases where BAC was found .15% this time span may be increased up to a year.
Installation of the Ignition Interlock Device: If your BAC level was found greater or equal to .15% or on the judgment of judge an ignition interlock device might be installed. This device checks the alcohol while you are driving.
Education and/or Treatment: You may have to be involved in alcohol evaluation or treatment program. You will have to attend a minimum class time of 8 hours and spend two years in treatments. Attending a DUI victim’s panel is also mandatory in such cases.
DUI offenders un Under 21: For persons under 21 no alcohol level should be found in their system. If you possess or consume alcohol and are under 21 then there is a penalty of $5,000 fine and a jail time of up to a year.
DUI Information Commercial Driver: For commercial drivers the maximum allowable BAC limit is .04%. And if convicted you will be disqualified for a year. You may also be banned from service if any amount of alcohol is found in your system.
Probation Period: The length of probation is five years.
Reinstating Your Drivers License: To get your license back you need to pay a reinstating fee of $150 to the department of licensing. You must also maintain proof of the financial activity. For the first time offenders giving a driver’s ability test is not mandatory.
Auto Insurance: Last but not least, your insurance company might raise your insurance rates. This rate can be in-between 30% – 100%.