Washington First Offense DUI

Washington First Offense DUI Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JUNE 26, 2018: The Space Needle towers in front of the downtown Seattle skyline at dusk.

The State of Washington has an Implied Consent Law, which means that, just by driving on Washington roads, you are agreeing to consent to a breath alcohol test (such as a breathalyzer or blood test) if asked to do so by law enforcement.

If this test determines that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher or if your BAC is lower than 0.08, but law enforcement can prove that your driving was affected by alcohol, you can be charged with a DUI.

In Washington, a DUI charge includes two separate processes: administrative, through the Department of Licensing, and criminal, through the courts. The processes are complicated and the penalties severe. If you have been charged with a DUI, it would behoove you to contact an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

A lawyer who specializes in alcohol-related driving charges knows the ins and outs of the law and will make sure that you are treated fairly throughout both processes. An alcohol-related conviction, even a first offense, will remain on your record for life.

Washington First Offense DUI Penalties

In Washington, first offense DUI penalties are steep. If you have not been charged with an alcohol-related driving offense in the past seven years, an arrest will be considered your “first offense”.

When you are arrested, you have 20 days to request an administrative hearing. You can do this online or by mailing a Hearing Request Form. The police will probably give you a Hearing Request Form at the time of your arrest. There is a $200 hearing request fee.

First offense DUI penalties may include:

  • 90 day driver’s license suspension
  • $5,000 fine
  • Court costs
  • SR22 insurance requirement
  • $150 license reissue fee
  • 1 day to 1 year in jail

If you had a child in the vehicle with you at the time of your DUI incident, you will face additional penalties.

Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL)

The State of Washington allows for an Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL). This limited license allows you to drive during your suspension, but requires you to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you drive. For a first offense DUI, the ignition interlock requirement is for 1 year.

In order to qualify for an IIL, you must provide proof of future financial responsibility. This is usually done in the form of Washington SR22 insurance, a high-risk auto insurance policy that proves to the State of Washington that you, as a high-risk driver, are fully insured.

Additional Washington DUI Resources