We all know that drinking and driving is irresponsible and dangerous not to mention carries some pretty stiff penalties. However, there are plenty of first time offenders in Washington State every single day. So, what happens to these folks? You might want to read the following information so that you know if you choose to drink and drive you are taking your life in your hands and a whole lot more.
The first time offender is given a DUI if his/her blood alcohol content is above .08%. If you are under the age of 21 and your blood alcohol is over .02% you will receive a DUI as will the commercial driver whose blood alcohol content is over .04%. If you have never had a DUI before this will be the first one.
Almost all individuals charged with their first DUI in Seattle and Washington State receive a minimum of 24 hours in jail. They will also lose their license of 90 days, maybe more, and be required to attend a DUI victim’s panel. Other punishments include an alcohol evaluation and treatment program as well as be required to install an interlock ignition device on the vehicle.
Your driver’s license is also in jeopardy when you receive a DUI. If you are not charged with criminal charges then you will have your license suspended if your breathalyzer measures above .08%. If you refuse the breath test then your punishment will be the same or greater. In the event criminal charges are filed then the loss of your driver’s license for longer periods of time becomes a real possibility. If you do not like the idea of an automatic suspension of your license you will need to pay $375 to the Department of Licensing within 20 days of your DUI, just to pay for the administrative hearing.
Jail time is a reality for your first DUI conviction. The minimum is 24 hours and the maximum is 364 days. The minimum jail time for a blood alcohol content level over .15% is two full days and up to 364 days.
Some individuals convicted of a DUI in Washington State will receive electronic home monitoring. This is sometimes given instead of jail time, but the minimum amount of time is 15 days for a low BAC and 30 days for a BAC over .15%. Many judges require proof of a medical condition, in order to allow electronic home monitoring in lieu of jail time.
You will have plenty of fines to pay if you are charged with a DUI. They range from $940.50 to $5000 plus costs and assessments and the minimum is even higher if you had a high BAC. Also, those individuals who refuse to take the breath test will have their license suspended for one year administratively and two years upon conviction in court.
Some individuals are placed on probation, and the maximum length of probation is five years. Keep in mind your insurance could also go up significantly as well.
There are many repercussions for being convicted of a DUI. So, the best thing to do is not drink and drive and you will never have to worry about it!
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