DUI In Washington State Comes With Heavy Penalties

Leon Brooks, a running back from Washington State University, was recently arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. The football player was arrested at in the middle of the night after he made a wide turn while driving. The arresting officer claimed to have smelled alcohol when he pulled over Brooks, who then performed a sobriety test. Brooks was given a breathalyzer test and blew over a 0.08.

DUI penalties in Washington

Drivers who are 21 years and older may be charged with a DUI when their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. If a minor's BAC is 0.02 or higher, they may be charged. Additionally if a commercial driver's BAC is 0.04 or higher, they may be arrested for a DUI.

People charged with a DUI in Washington will face jail time. While the maximum jail term for DUI is up to one year, there are mandatory minimum jail terms as well. After being convicted of the first offense, drivers will spend one to two days in jail. After the second offense, drivers may spend 30 to 45 days in jail, and after the third offense they may spend 90 to 120 days in jail. They will also face heavy fines of up to $5,000.

License suspension in Washington

People arrested for a DUI in Washington will also have their licenses automatically suspended, unless a hearing is requested within 20 days of the arrest and the hearing results are favorable to the person arrested. Otherwise, licenses will be suspended for 90 days to two years depending upon many factors.

When people are convicted of a DUI in court, their licenses will be suspended for 90 days to four years. The court will take into account the severity of the offense and any prior offenses. Drivers may receive a credit for the amount of time their licenses were already suspended.

Some drivers will be eligible for a restricted license during the time their licenses are suspended. In order to get restricted licenses, drivers will have to have an ignition interlock device installed in all vehicles that they operate. An ignition interlock device is installed directly into the vehicle and requires drivers to blow into the device to have their BAC tested. If alcohol detected on the driver's breath, the car will not start. People may have to have these devices in their cars for up to 10 years. There are also fees and costs associated with ignition interlock devices, and these will be the responsibility of the driver, including a monthly fee.

The importance of seeking help

DUI charges are serious, and drivers facing DUI charges need to seek legal representation. People charged with a DUI may have to take steps to protect their reputation. It's also important to have an experienced advocate to negotiate with the prosecution and present arguments to the court. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help assure that the accused person's rights are protected.