Washington DUI FAQ
A DUI conviction can have a long-lasting implication on your life, far beyond the immediate consequences. Even after any fines are paid or you have served jail time, the conviction could impact your ability to drive, secure a job or even maintain your professional license or credentials. It is imperative that you get an attorney to defend you when you have been charged with a DUI to lessen the impact that this situation has on your life.
Do I really have to go to jail if I am convicted of a DUI?
In Washington, a DUI comes with mandatory sentencing guidelines, which include some form of jail time. The actual amount served will depend on how many DUIs you have had in the past, the blood alcohol level you had at the time you were charged and other circumstances surrounding your offense. In some cases, first time offenders might be permitted to opt for electronic home monitoring (EHM) instead of jail time; the EHM time is generally for a much longer period than a jail sentence.
If I am convicted, will I lose my license?
Once you have been convicted of a DUI offense, you will lose your license. The actual amount of time that your driver’s license will be suspended can vary from 90 days to four years. In addition to the suspension imposed because of the DUI charge, you could receive additional suspension time if you are found to be a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) as well.
How can I get to work if my license is suspended?
If your license is suspended due to a DUI conviction, you may still be able to drive to and from work. If your vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device and you have the correct insurance, you may be permitted to drive during your suspension. Your DUI attorney can help you determine the best course of action if you have had a conviction and still need to get to work.
Will a DUI Impact my ability to work?
Depending on your profession, a DUI could affect your ability to keep your professional license or to be awarded a professional license in the first place. If you are concerned about your work or how a DUI conviction would impact you, you should contact a DUI attorney right away.
What about my pilot’s license?
Your conviction will need to be reported to the FAA and you may have additional consequences. If you are worried about your continued ability to fly, you should contact a local DUI attorney who can aggressively defend you in court.
Would a DUI prevent me from traveling or moving away?
Some governments, including Canada, may deny you entry if you have been convicted of a DUI; you should research any potential issues before making travel plans. A DUI could also prevent you from moving to another state, if you have multiple convictions and may need written permission from a parole or probation department to move.
What is a DUI in Washington?
In Washington, if you drive a car or other vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can be convicted of a DUI. The following rules are used to determine charges:
- If you are so impaired that you are unable to properly control a vehicle, you may be charged with an impairment DUI
- If you have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, you could be charged with a DUI
- If you have concentration of 5 or more nanograms of THC (from marijuana) in your blood, you could be charged with DUI.
Impairment DUIs generally have the lowest penalties, but those who refuse to be tested or who have higher levels of BAC of THT will receive greater penalties.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Washington?
- For a first offense, you face a minimum 90-day license suspension, one to 364 days in jail or home monitoring and up to $5,000 in fines.
- If you refuse to be tested, you may receive a full year suspension, along with two to 364 days in jail or home monitoring and up to $5,000 in fines
- If you are convicted, you’ll need to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed for at least a year; you may also need to attend a substance abuse program or other treatment program. If you had a child in your car, your fines and penalties could be increased.
What should I do if I am charged with DUI?
Since penalties are harsh and can have a lasting impact on your life, it is essential to contact a DUI defense attorney right away. The charges against you are bad enough, but a conviction can impact your life for years to come.
Contact a Qualified Spokane DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI, you need a professional attorney on your side. Contact us to talk about your case and to learn more about your options. We can help you determine the best course of action and will aggressively defend you in court.