DUI sentences with prior convictions
The seven year rule
For purposes of multiple DUI arrests, Washington looks back seven years for any prior DUI convictions or crimes that were originally charged as a DUI that might have been reduced down to another offense like reckless driving. Even deferred prosecutions figure into the sentencing equation.
Second DUI within seven years with BAC under .15
When a person has been convicted of a second DUI in seven years with a BAC below .15 or no breath testing, he or she is subject to a minimum of 30 days in jail and 90 days of electronic home monitoring. Rather than electronic home monitoring, a judge is allowed to order an additional four days in jail or six months in a complete sobriety program might be ordered. Fines can range between $1,196 and $5,200. An alcohol and substance abuse evaluation will ordinarily be ordered, and the defendant must follow all recommendations and successfully complete the recommended program. An ignition interlock device would be required for at least one year with a possibility of five years. Along with the criminal penalty comes the civil penalty against a defendant’s driver’s license. That involves a two year license suspension. So long as an ignition interlock device is used, the defendant is permitted to drive during the suspension period.
Second DUI within seven years with BAC .15 or over
A second conviction within seven years with a BAC above .15 or a refusal carries a minimum jail term of 45 days and a fine between $1,621 and $5,200 along with 90 days of electronic home monitoring. A breath testing refusal carries a three year license suspension. If the defendant submitted to breath testing, there is a 30 month driver’s license suspension with the same ignition interlock driving privileges as a BAC of less than .15. Rather than electronic home monitoring, another six days in jail or a six month sobriety program might be ordered.
Third DUI within seven years with BAC under .15
Upon a third conviction for a DUI within seven years with a BAC of less than .15 or a breath testing refusal, the minimum jail sentence is 120 days with 150 days of electronic home monitoring. A judge might either substitute or include a sobriety program too with a minimum fine of $2,046. A three year driver’s license suspension applies. A defendant can continue to drive with an ignition interlock device.
Third DUI within seven years with BAC over .15
A third conviction for a DUI within seven years with a BAC of .15 or over, or a refusal is punishable by 120 days in jail, 150 days of electronic home monitoring and a minimum fine of $2,896. Whether the driver gave a breath sample or not, the driver’s license suspension period is at least four years. Whether the blood alcohol content is above .15 or below, or the driver refused testing, an ignition interlock device will be required as will a drug and alcohol evaluation. The defendant will be required to follow all recommendations of the evaluation and successfully complete the recommended program.
The habitual traffic offender
It’s entirely possible for a person who has been arrested for three DUIs in a five year period to be classified as a Washington habitual traffic offender. If so classified, he or she is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle in any way for seven years. Alternatives are available to the seven year prohibition. They’re very strict, and they’re set up for failure.
Contact a Spokane DUI Lawyer today
Even a first DUI has consequences that can impact a person’s educational, employment, armed forces, housing and travel opportunities. Contact us as soon as possible after any DUI arrest for a free consultation and case evaluation. Defenses are available in these cases, but it takes experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorneys to assert them. You’ll want to talk to us before you do anything else.