What exactly is a Driving Under the Influence or Drunk Driving in Washington State?
In most cases, a DUI in Washington State is a gross misdemeanor crime related to the operation of a motor vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, etc.) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medication. (RCW 46.61.502) If you are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, Law Enforcement may ask you to take a breathalyzer test. If your Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC is .08 or higher you can be charged with a DUI. In some cases, you may be charged with a DUI if your BAC is lower than .08. You may also be asked to submit a blood test if you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs.
Washington State Implied Consent
Washington State Law provides that anyone operating a vehicle in Washington has given implied consent to take a breathalyzer test upon request by law enforcement. Law Enforcement cannot force you to take the breathalyzer; however, refusing to do so will likely result in the loss of your driver’s license for a year.
Conviction and Mandatory Sentencing
DUI Convictions carry mandatory minimum jail sentences even for first time offenders of at least one day and up to a year in jail for misdemeanor DUI offenses. Your drivers license may be suspended for 90 days or a year or more depending on the circumstances of the offense and if there have been previous offenses. Additionally, you may be fined up to $5000 if convicted of DUI or Drunk Driving.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Kitsap County, contact KCD at 360.204.5604 to schedule a 30-minute free consultation with a DUI lawyer who can help you.
Felony DUI in Kitsap County & Washington State
What makes drunk driving a Felony in Washington State
Under most circumstances, DUI in Washington State is a Gross Misdemeanor; however, these cases may be charged as a Class B Felony under the following circumstances:
According to RCW 46.61.502: Driving under the influence, it is a class B felony punishable under chapter 9.94A RCW, or chapter 13.40 RCW if the person is a juvenile, if:
- The person has three or more prior offenses within ten years as defined in RCW 46.61.5055; or
- The person has ever previously been convicted of:
- Vehicular homicide while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.520(1)(a)
- Vehicular assault while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.522(1)(b)
- An out-of-state offense comparable to the offense specified in (b)(i) or (ii) of this subsection; or
- A violation of this subsection (6) or RCW 46.61.504(6).
If you have been charged with a felony DUI, contact KCD at 360.204.5604 to schedule a 30-minute free consultation with a criminal defense attorney who can help you.
Drunk Driving Underage
Washington State has a Zero-Tolerance law for Underage DUI including Juvenile Dui. It is illegal for persons under the age of 21 to acquire, possess, or consume alcohol in Washington State and it is illegal for anyone, of any age, to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even for a first offense of underage DUI, Washington State requires a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 24 hours in jail or juvenile detention if under 18. If convicted, you may also be required to pay fines up to $5000.00.
Minors convicted of DUI or other alcohol and drug related offenses can face many unintended consequences beyond just jail time and monetary fines. College admissions teams frequently look unfavorably on applicants who have criminal records and drug convictions. The conviction may prohibit eligibility for federal student loans. You may be denied enlistment in the military and have difficulty finding a job as well.
Experienced DUI Lawyer for Underage DUI
A young person making a mistake or bad decision is not shocking and does not necessarily define who they are now and forever. If you have been charged with an underage DUI, you may feel quite hopeless, however. The consequences of a DUI conviction for minors and adults under the age of 21 can be life altering. Sometimes, consequences are simply unavoidable, but one moment of poor judgement or unfortunate circumstances should not destroy your future.
An experienced DUI Lawyer at Kitsap Criminal Defense can help you face the legal process head on, discover the options available to you, and help you make the best choices for yourself and your future. Your future is important to us. We provide methodical representation and aggressive advocacy for every client. If you have been charged with a DUI and you are underage, or you are the parent/guardian of a minor charged with DUI, call our office today at 360.204.5604 for a free 30-minute consultation with a DUI Lawyer.
What is E-DUI in Washington State?
E-DUI is the use of personal electronic devices while driving a motor vehicle on a public highway (RCW 46.61.672). This includes, but is not limited to, cellphones, tablet computers and laptops. CB Radios are not included in this statute. If you are driving while talking on your cellphone, texting while driving or similar behavior you can be charged with E-DUI.
E-DUI does not include use of communication devices by first responders in emergency vehicles, transit drivers using relay devices, or individuals employed as a commercial motor vehicle driver who uses a personal electronic device within the scope of such individual’s employment if such use is permitted under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 31136 as it existed on July 23, 2017. (RCW 46.61.672)
E-DUI in Washington State is a traffic infraction that can be punished by monetary fines. For more information on fighting a traffic infraction in court, see our Traffic and Civil Infraction page.
If you have been cited for E-DUI, contact KCD for a 30-minute, free legal consultation at 360.204.5604 to discuss options available to you.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
It is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any drug and marijuana is no exception. If law enforcement suspects that you are driving under the influence of marijuana you may be asked to take a blood test. If, within 2 hours after driving, the THC concentration in your blood is 5.00 or higher, you may be convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana.
Defense Lawyer for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
Whether alcohol or marijuana, Washington State aggressively prosecutes these types of cases. Attorney McDonald provides equally aggressive and strategic representation for all of our defense clients. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, call our office at 360.204.5954 for a 30-minute free consultation with a defense attorney.