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DUI & DWI in Washington

Did you know that just because you were arrested for drunk driving does not mean that you’ll be convicted? Did you know that just because you’re convicted of DUI doesn’t mean that conviction would stand on appeal? You owe it to yourself to consult with the Washington DUI attorney of your choice.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Washington, this article will help you to understand what you’re facing:

  • Washington DWI Laws
  • Washington DWI Punishments
  • Potential DWI Defenses
  • Washington’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws
  • How to Find a Washington DWI Attorney

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Washington?

The Revised Code of Washington contains Washington’s drunk driving laws.

You are legally too drunk to drive in the state of Washington if:

  • Your BAC is .08 or higher.
  • Your BAC is .04 or higher and you’re a commercial driver.
  • You are under the age of 21 and have any alcohol in your system.

What is Washington’s Punishment for DUI Convictions?

Harsher penalties will be handed down by the judge if you are convicted of DUI and your BAC was .15 or higher or you were driving with a child under the age of 16 in your motor vehicle.

We’ve listed the non-enhanced DUI penalties:

  • 1st Offense – up to 1 year of jail time – fines of $500 to $5,000 – driver’s license suspension for 90 days – possible ignition interlock.
  • 2nd Offense within 7 years – jail time up to 1 year and 50 days of electronic home monitoring – fines of $250 to $2,500 – driver’s license suspension for 2 years – ignition interlock.
  • 3rd Offense within 7 years – jail time of 90 days to 1 year and 120 days of electronic home monitoring- fines of $1,000 to $5,000 – driver’s license revoked for 3 years – ignition interlock.

Washington Drunk Driving Defenses

You may have a valid defense to the drunk driving charges;don’t give up. Consult with the DUI lawyer of your choice –

Potential DWI defenses include:

  • The trial court erred.
    • Evidence that should have been admitted wasn’t admitted.
    • Statements made without Miranda warnings were admitted into evidence.
    • The judge gave the jury the wrong instructions.
  • The stop during which you were arrested was improper.
    • The roadblock was not proper.
    • There was no probable cause to stop you.
  • Proper procedures were not followed.
    • During BAC testing.
    • During arrest.
    • During detainment.
  • You weren’t the one driving the motor vehicle.
  • Your BAC when you were actually driving was lower than .08.

Washington’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws

Dram Shop Statute
Washington doesn’t have a Dram Shop statute so no criminal charges can be brought against an establishment for serving an underage or intoxicated patron; however, a civil case may be filed on the theory of negligence.

Washington’s Providing Alcohol to Underage Persons Law
If any adult or licensed drinking establishment gives or sells alcohol to an underage person, the penaltyis up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

This law does not apply to parents who allow their child to drink in their presence so long as the child does not drink in a licensed drinking establishment.

How to Find a Washington DUI Attorney

To find a Washington DUI attorney, you can search our website,, or ask friends or the bar association for a referral.Your attorney will answer your questions and determine your strongest defense strategy.

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