Serving Skagit,
Island, Whatcom and
Snohomish Counties
Attorney

DUI Penalties

When you are stopped, arrested and/or cited with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) by a law enforcement officer, there are several things that will occur simultaneously. The first process is a criminal prosecution by the State of Washington for DUI. The second process is a civil/administrative action by the Department of License to suspend your license. The penalties for a conviction of DUI can often be far reaching. It can involve both administrative penalties (license suspension through the Department of Licensing) and criminal penalties through the court system. This section deals exclusively with criminal sanctions.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a criminal charge and not a civil ticket. Criminal charges are ranked into classes (ie: Misdemeanor, Felony) depending on the maximum fines and custody associated with the charge. A DUI is a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $5000.00 and up to 364 days in custody (county jail). However, if this is your fifth DUI within ten years it will be charged as a Class C Felony, with a maximum of ten years in prison and $10,000.00 in fines.

Misdemeanor Conviction

A DUI has a mandatory minimum penalty required by law. The mandatory minimum penalty depends upon your prior DUI history. If you have a prior DUI, a prior reduction from DUI to a lesser charge (such as Negligent Driving), or a Deferred Prosecution for DUI within 7 years from the date of your current charge the mandatory minimums increase. For example:

Prior DUI History within 7 YearsYour Current BAC LevelMinimum JailEHMMinimum FineOtherLicense Suspension
0<.151 dayor 15 days$940.50+Eval / Probation90 days
>.152 daysor 30 days$1195.50+Eval / Probation1 year
Refusal2 daysor 30 days$1195.50+Eval / Probation2 years
1<.1530 daysand 60 days$1195.50+Eval / Probation2 years
>.1545 daysand 90 days$1620.50+Eval / Probation900 days
Refusal45 daysand 90 days$1620.50+Eval / Probation3 years
2<.1590 daysand 120 days$2045.50+Eval / Probation3 years
>.15120 daysand 150 days$2895.50+Eval / Probation4 years
Refusal120 daysand 150 days$2895.50+Eval / Probation4 years
Ignition Interlock Requrements:

In addition to penalties mentioned above the law requires that an individual equip any vehicle they drive with ignition interlock, upon conviction for DUI. The requirements for ignition interlock increases for each time the person has been by prior order of the court ordered to have ignition interlock.

Prior Times Ignition Interlock has been OrderedYears Required
01 year
15 years
210 years
Other Penalties

There are a number of other penalties dependent on a person's individual history and personal situation. Travel restrictions and suspensions of license as a habitual offender are among possible consequences that are dependent on individual past criminal history. Additionally, if a person has a commercial driver's license a first conviction for DUI can result in a CDL suspension for a year. Whereas a second conviction can result in a permanent suspension of a commercial driver's license. For a more thorough understanding of penalties that relate to your particular case you should consult with a competent attorney.

Felony DUI Conviction

As with all felony convictions in the State ofWashington, an individual faces the loss of important Constitutional Rights such as, voting and the right to bare arms.

Those penalties specific to a conviction for Felony DUI will be dependent upon a person's criminal history. The level of penalties depends upon an individuals "score" where they fall within the sentencing grid. In the State of Washington the sentencing grid ranges from zero to nine (0-9). A person's criminal score will depend upon the number of prior or current felony convictions they have. In addition, with the crime of Felony DUI, certain misdemeanor convictions such as DUI, Reckless Driving, Hit and Run (attended) will count towards an individuals score.

There are many things that can effect the counting of this score such as, "washing". Washing is where a prior criminal conviction is too old to be counted as part of the score. For a more detailed analysis of your possible "score" please consult a competent attorney.

Driving a Motor Vehicle while Under the Influence
Class C Felony - Offender Scoring
Adult History
Enter number of Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assaults_______x2_______
Enter number of other felony convictions_______x1_______
Enter number of DUI, Physical Controls, Reckless Driving, BUI, H&R-Att._______x1_______

Juvenile History
Enter number of Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assaults_______x2_______
Enter number of other felony convictions______________
Enter number of DUI, Physical Controls, Reckless Driving, BUI, H&R-Att.______________

Other Current Offenses
Enter number of Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assaults_______x2_______
Enter number of other felony convictions_______x1_______
Enter number of DUI, Physical Controls, Reckless Driving, BUI, H&R-Att._______x1_______

Score Range
0123456789
6-12 months12-14 months13-17 months15-20 months22-29 months33-43 months41-54 months51-60 months60 months60 months