Third-Offense DUI in Washington

Read about the consequences of a third-offense DUI in Washington.

By , Attorney

In Washington, a DUI (driving under the influence) is generally considered a "third offense" when the motorist has two prior DUI convictions that occurred within the past seven years. This article discusses some of the consequences of a third-offense DUI in Washington. (The penalties for a first and second DUI in Washington are generally less severe.)

How Washington Defines "Driving Under the Influence"

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

"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 third DUI, the administrative penalties include:

  • Per se marijuana and per se alcohol. Third offenders who are caught driving with a BAC of .08% or more or a THC concentration of at least five nanograms per milliliter of blood typically face a two-year license suspension.
  • Chemical-test refusals. Third offenders who refuse chemical testing generally face an administrative license suspension of two years or until the driver reaches the age of 21, whichever is longer.

The Department of Licensing also requires all motorists convicted of a third-offense DUI—regardless of when the prior offenses occurred—to have ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on their vehicles for at least ten 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 ten-and-a-half years.

Criminal Penalties

"Criminal penalties" are those imposed by a criminal court following a DUI conviction. For a third DUI, the criminal penalties include:

  • Per se marijuana, per se alcohol with BAC under .15%, and impairment DUIs. Motorists who are convicted of a per se marijuana, per se alcohol with a BAC under .15%, or an impairment third-offense DUI are typically guilty of a "gross misdemeanor." Convicted drivers generally face 90 to 364 days in jail, 120 days of electronic home monitoring (EHM), and sixth months in a "24/7 Sobriety Program" (if available). In lieu of EHM, the judge can impose at least another eight days in jail. The criminal penalties also include $1,000 to $5,000 in fines and fees and a three-year license suspension.
  • Chemical-test refusals and BACs of .15% or greater. Motorists who are convicted of a third-offense DUI involving a chemical test refusal or BAC of .15% or greater are typically guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Convicted drivers generally face 120 to 364 days in jail, 150 days of EHM, and six months in a 24/7 program (if available). The criminal penalties also include $1,500 to $5,000 in fines and fees and a four-year license suspension.

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 third offender who had a passenger under the age of 16 at the time of the offense, the judge must impose an additional ten days in jail and increase the fines and fees to $3,000 to $10,000. Vehicle seizure is also a possibility when a motorist is convicted of a third DUI in Washington.

Protect Yourself. Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
FACING A DUI?

Talk to a DUI Defense attorney

We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you