DUI

DUI charges in Washington are very serious. People who speak with an attorney early get the best results.

If you are facing a DUI charge, you could be facing extremely severe penalties including loss of your driver’s license, fines, and jail time. Charges may also affect your insurance rates and ability to find employment. Speaking with an attorney at the earliest stages of a proceeding is extremely important – with so much at stake you need someone with experience to help craft a forceful defense strategy unique to your situation.

DUI

DUI charges in Washington are very serious. People who speak with an attorney early get the best results.

If you are facing a DUI charge, you could be facing extremely severe penalties including loss of your driver’s license, fines, and jail time. Charges may also affect your insurance rates and ability to find employment. Speaking with an attorney at the earliest stages of a proceeding is extremely important – with so much at stake you need someone with experience to help craft a forceful defense strategy unique to your situation.

Consequences of DUI Arrest:

How are the penalties determined? 

The penalty an individual may face for a DUI charge depends on a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), the person’s history, and the circumstances of the arrest. 

 

What are the penalties? 

A DUI arrest means you could face Criminal Proceedings from the prosecuting attorney’s office and Administrative Proceedings through the Department of Licensing (DOL).

  • The maximum penalty for a DUI is a $5000 fine and up to 364 days in the county jail. You may be required to undergo a substance abuse assessment, and may be placed on probation.
  • The DOL may also suspend your driver’s license, and require an ignition interlock device (Blow-n-Go).

 

How we can help. 

At Fields Law Office, we work hard to see each case from our client’s perspective. We take pride in giving responsive, individualized, and professional representation. We take the time to learn how the outcome will impact our clients’ lives and use every resource to minimize the damage to their lives and promote a positive outcome.

 

Read more about what to expect in the Criminal and Administrative Proceedings below. 

1. Criminal Proceedings

A DUI conviction may result in jail time, being required to wear an “ankle bracelet” while on electronic home monitoring, mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle, alcohol/drug monitoring, fines, fees, probation or court supervision and other penalties.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime in Washington state per RCW 46.61.502. When marijuana is involved, a blood THC level of 5 nanograms will establish that the driver was under the influence.

A deferred prosecution on a DUI case is governed by RCW 10.05.010. You can have only one deferred prosecution and the decision of whether to use that option must be carefully weighed. This requires probation for up to five (5) years and successful completion of all treatment and probation recommendations.

The entire program is intensive. You will be required to complete an extensive chemical dependency program and report to a probation officer. You will be required to pay for treatment and probation.

These requirements include:

  • On deferred prosecution, one must totally abstain from alcohol and all other non-prescribed, mind-altering drugs – this means medical or recreational marijuana too.
  • You must attend at least 2 self-help recovery support group meetings per week. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most common group.

Successful completion of a three-phase treatment program.

  • Phase 1: intensive outpatient treatment consisting of a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours of treatment for a maximum of twelve (12) weeks.
  • Phase 2: no less than once per week of approved outpatient counseling, group or individual, for a minimum of six months following the intensive phase of treatment.
  • Phase 3: no less than once per month of outpatient contact, group or individual, for the remainder of the two-year deferred prosecution period. RCW 10.05.150

On deferred prosecution, one must only drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for 1, 5, or 10 years. The length of time will depend upon the number of times the DOL has required you to install an IID in the past.

Reckless driving is defined by RCW 46.61.500 as driving in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. It is a gross misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $5000 fine. If convicted, the DOL will suspend the driver’s license for 30 days. Read more about Reckless Driving Penalties. It is possible that Reckless Driving convictions usually result from cases originally charged as DUI.

Negligent Driving in the First Degree is defined in RCW 46.61.5249 as driving in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property. The driver also exhibits the effects of ingesting a substance, whether legal or not, with an intoxicating or hallucinatory effect. 

This misdemeanor is punishable with up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. However, if one has certain prior charges (usually alcohol/drug-related), the court may require the installation of an ignition interlock device on all the vehicles you operate.

Negligent Driving in the Second Degree is a civil traffic infraction, not a criminal law violation. However, it may have significant insurance consequences. It is defined in RCW 46.61.525 as operating a vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property. 

This traffic infraction has a penalty of a $250 fine and the court may require installation of an ignition interlock device on all the vehicles you operate.

Reckless endangerment as defined in RCW 9A.36.050 is conduct not amounting to a drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person. It is a gross misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.

1. Criminal Proceedings

A DUI conviction may result in jail time, being required to wear an “ankle bracelet” while on electronic home monitoring, mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle, alcohol/drug monitoring, fines, fees, probation or court supervision and other penalties.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime in Washington state per RCW 46.61.502. When marijuana is involved, a blood THC level of 5 nanograms will establish that the driver was under the influence.

A deferred prosecution on a DUI case is governed by RCW 10.05.010. You can have only one deferred prosecution and the decision of whether to use that option must be carefully weighed. This requires probation for up to five (5) years and successful completion of all treatment and probation recommendations.

The entire program is intensive. You will be required to complete an extensive chemical dependency program and report to a probation officer. You will be required to pay for treatment and probation.

These requirements include:

  • On deferred prosecution, one must totally abstain from alcohol and all other non-prescribed, mind-altering drugs – this means medical or recreational marijuana too.
  • You must attend at least 2 self-help recovery support group meetings per week. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most common group.

Successful completion of a three-phase treatment program.

  • Phase 1: intensive outpatient treatment consisting of a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours of treatment for a maximum of twelve (12) weeks.
  • Phase 2: no less than once per week of approved outpatient counseling, group or individual, for a minimum of six months following the intensive phase of treatment.
  • Phase 3: no less than once per month of outpatient contact, group or individual, for the remainder of the two-year deferred prosecution period. RCW 10.05.150

On deferred prosecution, one must only drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for 1, 5, or 10 years. The length of time will depend upon the number of times the DOL has required you to install an IID in the past.

Reckless driving is defined by RCW 46.61.500 as driving in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. It is a gross misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $5000 fine. If convicted, the DOL will suspend the driver’s license for 30 days. Read more about Reckless Driving Penalties. It is possible that Reckless Driving convictions usually result from cases originally charged as DUI.

Negligent Driving in the First Degree is defined in RCW 46.61.5249 as driving in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property. The driver also exhibits the effects of ingesting a substance, whether legal or not, with an intoxicating or hallucinatory effect. 

This misdemeanor is punishable with up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. However, if one has certain prior charges (usually alcohol/drug-related), the court may require the installation of an ignition interlock device on all the vehicles you operate.

Negligent Driving in the Second Degree is a civil traffic infraction, not a criminal law violation. However, it may have significant insurance consequences. It is defined in RCW 46.61.525 as operating a vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property. 

This traffic infraction has a penalty of a $250 fine and the court may require installation of an ignition interlock device on all the vehicles you operate.

Reckless endangerment as defined in RCW 9A.36.050 is conduct not amounting to a drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person. It is a gross misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.

Administrative (DOL) Proceedings

The Washington Department of Licensing WA-DOL will be notified if you are arrested for a DUI. These administrative proceedings may result in losing your driving privileges. Your license may be suspended or revoked. If you need to keep driving you may be eligible for an Ignition Interlock License.

An Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL) allows you to drive a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked for a drug or alcohol-related offense.

You must pay the DOL a $100 fee for the application, as well as a monthly fee of $20 to help defray the cost for indigent citizens. You will also need to have an ignition interlock on any vehicle you drive and SR 22 insurance before you can apply.

2. Administrative Proceedings

2. Administrative Proceedings

Administrative (DOL) Proceedings

The Washington Department of Licensing WA-DOL will be notified if you are arrested for a DUI. These administrative proceedings may result in losing your driving privileges. Your license may be suspended or revoked. If you need to keep driving you may be eligible for an Ignition Interlock License.

An Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL) allows you to drive a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked for a drug or alcohol-related offense.

You must pay the DOL a $100 fee for the application, as well as a monthly fee of $20 to help defray the cost for indigent citizens. You will also need to have an ignition interlock on any vehicle you drive and SR 22 insurance before you can apply.

Contact us to learn what Sharon Fields can do for you.

Consultations are free.