In Washington, a DUI (driving under the influence) is generally considered a "second offense" when the motorist has one prior DUI conviction that occurred within the past seven years. This article discusses some of the consequences of a second-offense DUI in Washington.
Washington defines DUI as driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while:
DUI offenses based on impairment (drugs or alcohol), THC concentration, and BACs under .15% typically carry the lowest penalties. DUI offenders who refused chemical testing (blood or breath) in violation of Washington's implied consent laws or had a BAC of .15% or greater generally face more severe consequences.
"Administrative penalties" are those imposed by the Washington State Department of Licensing. Some administrative consequences are triggered by the arrest and apply even if the defendant is never actually convicted of a DUI in criminal court. For a second DUI, the administrative penalties include:
The Department of Licensing also requires all motorists convicted of a second-offense DUI—regardless of when the prior offense occurred—to have ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on their vehicles for at least five years. And DUI second offenders who had a passenger under the age of 16 in their vehicle at the time of their offense are required to have IIDs for at least five-and-a-half years.
"Criminal penalties" are those imposed by a criminal court following a DUI conviction. For a second DUI, the criminal penalties include:
Depending on the circumstances, a judge might also order a DUI offender to participate in an educational or substance abuse treatment program. And for any second offender who had a passenger under the age of 16 at the time of the offense, the judge must impose an additional five days in jail and increase the fines and fees to $2,000 to $5,000. Vehicle seizure is also a possibility when a motorist is convicted of a second DUI in Washington.
Washington DUI law is complex, and the facts of every case are different. If you've been arrested for driving under the influence, talk to an experienced DUI attorney in your area. A qualified DUI lawyer can tell you how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on the best course of action.