DUI second offense
You place yourself at much greater risk in the State of Washington if you’ve been convicted of DUI, and you’re facing another charge within seven years of your conviction. You’re now being looked at as a repeat offender.
To prove a person guilty of DUI in Washington, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a motor vehicle or in actual physical control of it when:
- You ingested drugs or alcohol, and your ability to operate a motor vehicle was diminished in any appreciable degree
- Your blood alcohol level was .08 or above
- In the context of marijuana, your THC level was five nanograms or more per milliliter of blood
The criminal penalties
Both driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 or over and driving with five nanograms or more of THC from marijuana in your blood are known as “per se” offenses. In those cases, the prosecution need not prove that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired. It need only prove that your blood alcohol content was .08 or above, or that you had five nanograms or more of THC in your blood on a DUI marijuana charge. If a person has been found guilty of or pled guilty to a second DUI in the State of Washington on a per se alcohol or marijuana DUI, he or she is likely to be convicted of a gross misdemeanor that’s punishable by:
- 30 to 364 days in jail with a blood alcohol content of .14 or under
- Upon release from jail, 60 days of electronic home monitoring or four days in jail or 6 months in a complete sobriety program
- A fine of not less than $700 and not more than $5,200 plus court costs
- A two year driver’s license suspension
Penalties could be even harsher with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher or more than 5 nanograms of THC in a person’s blood. If the second offender was transporting a passenger who was under the age of 16 at the time of the DUI, the judge is allowed to set a fine of a minimum of $2,200 but not exceeding $5,200. Any vehicle involved in a second DUI in Washington is subject to seizure. Seizure sets off another possible chain of highly complicated and expensive legal events.
Driver’s license consequences
Most people don’t realize that if they’re arrested on a DUI charge, there will be consequences that impact their driver’s license through the Department of Licensing. The DUI charge might be dismissed, or somebody can even be found not guilty, but there will still be consequences. Those are known as administrative penalties, and those penalties directly impact a person’s license to drive. In the context of administrative penalties, a person who has been arrested on a second time DUI on an alcohol or marijuana per se charge is facing a driver’s license suspension of two years. Notwithstanding whether the second DUI conviction was entered inside or outside of the seven year look back period, an ignition interlock device (IID) will be required on any vehicle that the person operates for a minimum of five years. That’s a long time to be blowing into a tube a few times on every trip to the grocery store and back home. It’s also expensive to have the device installed on a vehicle. Monthly fees apply too. You’ll even have to pay to have the device removed when the IID term is over.
If you’re charged with a second DUI in the State of Washington, the system is even more dangerous and unforgiving than the first time around. The websites of most Washington DUI lawyers tell you how many awards they’ve received from their professional peers and how many legal organizations that they belong to. Do any of them tell you how they’ll consider even the smallest details of your case?
Contact a Spokane DUI Attorney Today
Whether it’s your first DUI or second, you’ll want to talk to us. If we’re not in court, we’ll make the time to talk to you about that second DUI charge. Part of our job is to keep you fully informed, and that way you can make the best possible decisions. Don’t hesitate to contact our office right away after any DUI arrest.