In Washington, DUI penalties can increase if a person’s DUI arrest includes one of many aggravating factors. Typically, a first-time DUI conviction in Washington comes with a driver’s license suspension of 90 days, as well as a fine of between $350 and $5,000, and at least a day of jail time. In addition to these penalties, a person convicted of DUI also has to complete an alcohol awareness class, a victim’s panel, and is generally required to install an ignition interlock device on their car for a period of one year. If there are aggravating factors present, however, these penalties will be increased.
One aggravating factor that can increase DUI penalties is having a breath or blood test result of .15 or greater. In that situation, instead of facing a minimum jail time of one day, it’ll be two days, and the minimum fine will rise from $350 to $500. Additionally, instead of a 90 day license suspension, the suspension will be one year. If a person refuses a breath test he will be facing these same penalty increases, except the license suspension will be for two years, not one.
Another aggravating factor that can impact DUI sentencing is being arrested for drunk driving while there’s a passenger in the car under 16 years old. Penalty increases for a ‘minor’ in the car range from the minimum jail time being increased from one day, to two days, to a substantial and unsavory increase in the range of fines from $1,000 to $5,000. Have a passenger 16 years of age or younger in the car will also add another six months to the time a person is required to keep an Ignition Interlock device in their car.
In addition to the foregoing, there are several other factors that the court is permitted in its discretion to take into account when choosing how to punish a person convicted of DUI. These factors include, but are not necessarily limited to, whether there were other passengers, regardless of age, whether there was an accident that led to the DUI arrest, whether there were any injuries or any property damage, and whether you the person was caught driving on the wrong side of the roadway.
If cited for DUI in Washington state be smart and immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney can quite possibly save a person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for DUI in Washington State.