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Washington’s DUI Laws Toughest in Nation

Posted Friday, September 29, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

Washington State’s DUI laws are among the toughest in the nation and every couple of years the State Legislature makes them tougher in some way. The DUI statute RCW 46.61.506 criminalizes those under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, driving with a breath test reading of .08 or higher and driving with a THC level of 5 nanograms.

The penalties for a DUI conviction are administrative and criminal. The Department of Licensing will seek to suspend a person’s license if they are driving with a breath test reading of .08 or higher and driving with a THC level of 5 nanograms, or they refuse to provide a breath sample. The normal suspension period is 90 days unless a person refuses a breath test, wherein they face a minimum of a one year loss of their license. The driver has the opportunity to challenge the Department’s action with an administrative hearing, usually conducted over the phone.

The criminal penalties are stiff. A court must impose mandatory jail time of either one or two days for a first-time offense with maximum time reaching a year. The financial penalties for a DUI conviction can reach up to $5,000.00. Upon conviction, a court will impose five years of jurisdiction or probation, require an alcohol evaluation and other requirements during this probationary period.
A DUI arrest also carries potential damage to a person’s career. Those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and pilots can be affected. Also, it’s very difficult entering into Canada with a DUI conviction.

For more information, go to www.ahufflaw.com.

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