Most people who are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in the State of Washington are charged with gross misdemeanors. A conviction for a gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $5,000. On top of those, other possible penalties are detailed in the Revised Code of Washington, section 46.61.505. It’s a long and complicated statute.
If a person is convicted of DUI, he or she should expect other penalties to be imposed. Those penalties are going to pivot on whether a person has a history of prior convictions, his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of their arrest and any aggravating factors under the circumstances of the occurrence and arrest. Other penalties are likely to include a driver’s license suspension, installation of an ignition interlock device, an alcohol evaluation, successful completion of an alcohol education or treatment program and a minimum mandatory jail sentence.When the BAC Was Less Than 0.15 or a Refusal
For purposes of a first offense, the defendant must serve a minimum of 24 consecutive hours in jail. The only alternative to this is 15 days of electronic home monitoring.
When the BAC Was More Than 0.15 or a Refusal
If it’s a first offense, but with a BAC of 0.15 or over, the defendant must serve a 48 consecutive hour jail sentence, or in the alternative, 30 days of electronic home monitoring. According to North Charleston Criminal Defense Attorney, in states like South Carolina there may be 48hrs – 90days in jail in their state.
Second Offense When BAC was Less than 0.15 or Refusal
On a second conviction, penalties become significantly harsher. On a BAC of less than 0.15 or a refusal, the minimum jail sentence is 30 consecutive days.
Second Offence With BAC at 0.15 or Refusal
Upon a conviction for this offense or a refusal, a defendant must spend a minimum of 45 days in jail. Whether it’s a second conviction below or above 0.15, electronic home monitoring isn’t an available sentencing alternative.
Third Offenses or Refusals
A third DUI conviction with a BAC of less than 0.15 or a refusal results in a minimum of 90 consecutive days in jail. A BAC above 0.15 or a refusal is going to be a minimum of 120 consecutive days.
A person can be charged with felony DUI in the State of Washington if he or she has three or more prior convictions within ten years a new charge. Washington has a long list of what a prior conviction consists of. It’s not going to help a defendant when a jury learns that he or she has three prior convictions. Felony DUI is a class C felony. It’s punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Prison conditions are generally much harsher than those in the Spokane County Jail. Upon being released from prison, employment, educational and housing opportunities could be limited. You’ll want experienced and effective legal counsel from the moment that you are placed under arrest.