Is This DUI Your First Offense?
Did you recently receive a DUI in Washington State? This indicates you were pulled over while driving under the influence of “alcohol, drugs, or both.”
We understand that a first DUI offense might be confusing, and you may be unsure of what steps you need to take. Let us clear up the process so that you can put your DUI behind you for good.
Penalties for a First DUI Offense in Washington State
The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) states that your breath or blood test must fit these blood alcohol content levels to qualify as a DUI:
• >.08 percent for adults age 21+
• >.04 percent for those operating a work car
• >.02 percent for anyone below age 21
Any signs of intoxication or impairment from alcohol or drugs in any quantity while behind the wheel can also lead to a DUI. DUIs are considered gross misdemeanors in Washington State, meaning that you may be fined up to $5,000 and incarcerated for no more than 364 days.
How likely is jail time for a first DUI? The question is not if it will happen but how long it will happen (answer: at least one full day — more on that below).
Here is a little more on what to expect if this is a first-offense DUI:
Less Than .15 Breath Test
DUI convictions can be harsh, even for those with no priors. If you have an alcohol concentration of less than .15, you may undergo 24 hours in jail and pay up to $941.
Your license might be suspended for three months, at which point you may earn it back by using an ignition interlock device under certain conditions. The court may require treatment and meeting with a professional to investigate any dependency issues. You might also face probation for up to five years.
Greater Than .15 Breath Test
At least two full days of jail time are required if your alcohol concentration exceeds .15 percent. You must also pay up to $1,196, surrender your license for as many as two years, get checked out for dependency problems, go through treatment, and stay on probation for anywhere from two to five years.
The penalties for refusing a breathalyzer are similar to the penalties imposed on those with an alcohol blood content level of greater than .15 percent. While you have the right to refuse a breath test, it may result in additional penalties.
What to Do If You Receive a First-Offense DUI
The first step is contacting a DUI attorney near you. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer offers free consultations and charges a flat fee for DUI cases to ensure you get the legal help you need at an affordable rate.
At the first consultation, we will go over your case and the next steps in detail so that you know what to expect. Please bring a list of any questions and any documentation you have regarding your case so that we can advise you accordingly.
There are several penalties in Washington State for first DUI offenses. These may include but are not limited to jail time, fines, license removal, and probation.
Driving under the influence is not worth the legal consequences, let alone the impact on anyone involved. Stay sober, and stay safe.
Do you wish to learn how to get out of a first-offense DUI? Finding a knowledgeable attorney is step one. Contact our law office today to review your case.