A first-time DUI is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
The penalties can increase significantly if this is your second or third offence. But there are a number of other aggravating factors that can result in enhanced penalties for a Washington DUI.
Even if it is your first time being charged with a DUI, you could be facing stiffer penalties.
If your BrAC is above .15% you face enhanced penalties, even if this is your first offence. For a first offense with a BrAC of .15% or higher, you face a 1-year license suspension, a minimum of 2 days in jail, a minimum fine of $1,245.50, and mandatory installation of an IID in your car.
For a second offense with a BrAC of .15% of higher, you face a license suspension of at least 900 days, a minimum of 45 days in jail, and 90 days of Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM).
If it is your third DUI and you have a BrAC of .15% of higher, you face a 4-year license suspension, 120 days in jail, and 150 days of EHM.
If you are charged with a Washington DUI and refuse the breath test you face enhanced penalties.
If you refuse the breath test and it is your first DUI you face a 2-year license suspension and 2 days in jail
For refusing the breath test on your second DUI you face a 3-year license suspension, 45 days in jail, and 90 days of EHM
If it is your third DUI offense and you refuse the breath test you face a 4-year license suspension, 120 days jail, and 150 days of EHM.
If you are convicted of a DUI with a minor (someone under age 16) in the car, you face enhanced DUI penalties and could also be charged with child endangerment.
As with other DUI penalties, the enhancement penalties increase if you have prior convictions for DUI.
For a first-time DUI with a minor in the car you face a mandatory minimum of either 2 or 3 days in jail and the possibility of $1,000 added to your mandatory minimum fine.
If you are facing your second DUI charge and you were stopped with a minor in the car, in addition to the normal DUI penalties, you face up to 5 additional mandatory days in jail and an additional fine of at least $1,000.
If this is your third DUI and you were driving with a minor in the car you are facing 10 additional mandatory days in jail and additional fine of at least $1,000.
If the arresting officers believes that the child is at risk, the office can take the child into protective custody and charge you with the separate crime of reckless endangerment.
When a judge sentences you for a DUI, the presence of a minor in the car will always be a factor.
A DUI with a child in the car could also trigger an investigation by Child Protective Services
Depending on the severity of the aggravating factors, you could be facing significantly more time in prison and substantially higher fines. For example, if someone dies within 3 years as a result of a DUI, you face a Class A felony, vehicular homicide, punishable by a minimum of 78 to 102 months in prison, plus various legal financial obligations and collateral consequences.
If someone is injured as a result of a DUI, you can be charged with a Class B felony, vehicular assault, punishable by a minimum of 3 to 9 months in jail, plus various legal financial obligations and collateral consequences.
A DUI is a serious offence that carries stiff penalties. If you have been charged with a DUI in Skagit County, Island County, or throughout northwest Washington, contact Washington DUI defense lawyer Justin Campbell at the Campbell Law Firm.