Washington State DUI Penalty Chart 2023 – 2024

by ECL Writer
Washington State DUI Penalty Chart

DUI in Washington State is a serious offense that can have far-reaching consequences for individuals and society. In Washington State, like in many other jurisdictions, authorities have implemented stringent measures to deter and penalize impaired driving. The Washington State DUI Penalty Chart serves as a crucial reference for both law enforcement and individuals, outlining the various penalties associated with DUI offenses based on specific factors. Understanding this penalty chart is essential for those who wish to stay compliant with the law and make informed decisions to protect themselves and others on the road.

As one of the leading states in the United States in terms of DUI-related incidents, Washington has implemented a comprehensive penalty structure to address impaired driving. This penalty chart provides clear guidelines regarding the severity of penalties imposed for different DUI offenses, including fines, license suspensions, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even potential jail time. By familiarizing themselves with the Washington State DUI Penalty Chart, drivers can gain insight into the potential consequences they may face if charged with a DUI offense, allowing them to better navigate the legal process and make informed decisions.

In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will delve into the Washington State DUI Penalty Chart to provide a comprehensive overview of the penalties associated with impaired driving offenses. We will explore the different tiers of DUI offenses, the corresponding fines and jail time, license suspension periods, and the requirement for ignition interlock devices. By shedding light on these crucial aspects, we aim to empower readers with knowledge that can help them make responsible choices and avoid the severe repercussions of driving under the influence in Washington State.

Washington State DUI Penalty Chart

No Prior Offenses Within Past 7 YearsOne Prior Offense Within Past 7 YearsTwo or More Prior Offenses Within Past 7 Years
Alcohol Concentration Less Than .15 or No Test Result
Jail Time1-365 Days (24 consecutive hours non-suspendable)30-365 Days (30 days non-suspendable90-365 Days (90 days non-suspendable)
Electronic Home Monitoring*In Lieu of Mandatory Minimum Jail Time, Not Less Than 15 Days60 Days120 Days
Fine$350-$5,000 ($823 total minimum fine w/statutory assessments)$500-$5,000 ($1,078 total minimum fine w/statutory assessments)$1,000-$5,000 ($1,928 total minimum fine w/statutory assessments)
Driver’s License90 Day SuspensionTwo Year RevocationThree Year Revocation
Ignition Interlock DeviceMandatoryMandatoryMandatory
Alcohol/Drug Ed. or TreatmentAs Determined by the CourtAs Determined by the CourtAs Determined by the Court
Alcohol Concentration at Least .15 or Greater or Test Refusal
Jail Time2-365 Days (2 consecutive mandatory)45-365 Days (45 days mandatory)120-365 Days (120 days mandatory)
Electronic Home Monitoring*In Lieu of Mandatory Minimum Jail Time, Not Less Than 30 Days90 Days150 Days
Fine$500-$5,000 ($1,078 total minimum fine w/statutory assessments)$750-$5,000 ($1,503 total minimum fine w/statutory assessments)$1,500-$5,000 ($2,778 total minimum fine w/statutory assessments)
Driver’s License1 Year Revocation (2 years if BAC refused; Chapter 95,Laws 2004)2 Year Revocation (3 years if BAC refused; Chapter 95,Laws 2004)4 Year Revocation
Ignition Interlock DeviceMandatoryMandatoryMandatory
Alcohol/Drug Ed. or TreatmentAs Determined by the CourtAs Determined by the CourtAs Determined by the Court
Amended Convictions: Refer to State v. Shaffer, 113 Wn.App. 812 (2002)
Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM): In the case of first-time offenders, instead of the mandatory minimum jail time, the court may opt for electronic home monitoring. The court can provide a written waiver of electronic home monitoring, stating the reasons and supporting facts. If EHM is waived, an alternative sentence with similar punitive consequences must be imposed by the court. See RCW 46.61.5055.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Starting from June 10, 2004, the Department of Licensing (DOL) is required to order an IID after any violation related to alcohol under RCW 46.61.502, 46.61.504, or equivalent local ordinances. The court has the discretion to set the calibration level and duration of the IID. This is in accordance with RCW 46.20.720 (as amended by Chapter 95, Laws 2004). For DUI Deferred Prosecution cases, refer to RCW 10.05.140, which mandates IID in deferred prosecutions for alcohol-dependency-based cases. If the violation occurred while a passenger under the age of 16 was in the vehicle, the court must order the installation and use of IID for a minimum of 60 days or extend a previously imposed IID requirement by at least 60 days. IID restrictions come into effect after any applicable period of license suspension, revocation, or denial of driving privileges. This is specified under RCW 46.61.5055 (as amended by Chapter 103, Laws 2003).
Mandatory probation conditions when jail time is suspended: If the court imposes less than one year in jail, its jurisdiction extends to five years as per RCW 46.61.5055. The individual is obligated to: (i) refrain from driving a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license and proof of financial responsibility, (ii) avoid driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more within two hours after driving, (iii) not refuse to undergo a breath or blood test to determine alcohol concentration upon request by a law enforcement officer with reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Violation of any mandatory condition carries a minimum penalty of 30 days of confinement, which cannot be suspended or deferred, along with an additional 30-day license suspension. This is outlined in Chapter 95, Laws 2004. Courts are required to report violations of mandatory conditions to the Department of Licensing (DOL) according to RCW 46.61.5055.
Statutory Assessments: Public Safety and Education Assessment (PSEA) 1, as per RCW 3.62.090(1); Alcohol Violators Fee, under RCW 46.61.5054; Criminal Justice Funding Penalty, in accordance with RCW 46.64.055 (Note: RCW 3.62.090(1) and (2) are applicable to the CJF penalty).

The frequency of your arrests or charges for DUI plays a significant role in how the system will handle your case. Police officers, prosecutors, judges, treatment agencies, and even defense attorneys will approach your situation differently depending on the number of times you have been charged with DUI. It is evident that a person with three prior DUI convictions will face much harsher treatment compared to someone facing their first offense. This section aims to provide a general overview of what you can anticipate based on your history of DUI-related incidents. Although there is a DUI Sentencing Guideline chart available on this website, the following will strive to offer a more practical understanding of the procedural and substantive variances you will encounter.

Is A DUI In Washington State A Misdemeanor Or Felony?

In Washington State, a first-time drunk driving or DUI charge is typically classified as a gross misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a gross misdemeanor offense is 364 days in jail and a fine of $5,000. However, depending on your prior DUI and criminal traffic-related history, your charge could be elevated to a felony.

According to RCW 46.61.502, your DUI offense will be treated as a felony if you have three or more “prior offenses” within a ten-year period leading up to your most recent DUI charge. Furthermore, if you have previously been convicted of alcohol-related vehicular homicide or vehicular assault, your DUI can also be upgraded to a felony.

A felony DUI is categorized as a Class B felony, which carries a potential punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000. Given the severe consequences associated with a felony DUI, it is crucial to have a DUI defense attorney who can vigorously advocate for your rights and fight for your freedom.

The Minimum And Maximum Punishments For A DUI Offense?

Jail

  • First Offense WA DUI Laws

For individuals with no prior offenses within the last seven years and a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below .15 or no BAC test administered, the minimum jail sentence is 24 hours, with a maximum of 364 days. If the BAC was above .15 or the test was refused, a mandatory 48-hour jail sentence applies.

  • Second Offense WA DUI Laws

If there is one prior DUI conviction within a seven-year window and the BAC is below .15 or no BAC test was conducted, the minimum sentence is 30 days in jail, followed by 60 days of home arrest. The maximum penalty remains 364 days in jail.

Individuals with a BAC of .15 and above or those who refused the test face a jail term ranging from 45 to 364 days, along with 90 days of home arrest or electronic home monitoring.

  • Third Offense WA DUI Laws

For individuals with two prior DUI convictions within seven years, the WA State DUI penalties are doubled. The mandatory minimum sentence for a DUI with a BAC under .15 or no BAC test is 90 days in jail, followed by 120 days of home arrest. If the BAC was .15 and above or the test was refused, the minimum sentence is 120 days in jail, followed by 150 days of home confinement. The maximum sentence, in this case, remains 364 days in jail.

  • Fourth Offense

A fourth DUI within ten years is automatically upgraded to a felony DUI. The sentencing will depend on the person’s history of criminal traffic convictions and felony convictions.

If you are facing a felony DUI charge, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced Tacoma DUI defense attorney to develop the best case strategy and pursue the most favorable outcome.

Fines

  • First Offense DUI

For first-time DUI offenders with no BAC test or a BAC test result below .15, the minimum fine is $990.50, with a maximum of $5,000. If the BAC was .15 or above or the offender refused the test, the minimum fine increases to $1,245.50, with a maximum of $5,000.

  • Second Offense DUI

If no BAC test was administered or the result was below .15, the fines range from $1,245.50 to $5,000. If the offender refused the BAC test or had a BAC of at least .15, the penalties range from $1,670.50 to $5,000.

  • Third Offense DUI

The fines for individuals with no chemical testing or a result below .15 range from $2,095.50 to $5,000. If the BAC test was .15 or above or the offender refused it, the fines range from $2,945.50 to $5,000.

Aggravating Factors

Several factors can increase DUI penalties in WA State and result in longer minimum sentences. For example, driving with a passenger under 16 years old while committing a DUI offense can lead to an escalation in the mandatory sentence. Having such a passenger during a DUI incurs an additional 24 hours in jail for first-time offenders. In these scenarios, the minimum fines can also significantly increase.

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