Kitsap County DUI Lawyer- Drunk Driving, Driving Under the Influence in Kitsap County


If you have been charged with a DUI, Driving Under the Influence or Drunk Driving in Kitsap County, you are likely to be experiencing a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty. At Kitsap Criminal Defense, we offer a free consultation with a DUI Lawyer who can help alleviate some of that anxiety and uncertainty by helping you understand the legal process, options, and potential consequences you may be facing. A DUI is much easier to face when you know what to expect.

Kitsap County DUI Lawyer Providing Tenacious and Aggressive DUI Defense

Washington State takes an aggressive stance on DUI cases and we are equally aggressive in defending our clients. If you have been charged with a DUI, a trained, experienced DUI Lawyer at Kitsap Criminal Defense can help you navigate the legal system. Frequently, we are able to help get DUI charges reduces or dismissed altogether.

If you have been charged with Drunk Driving or DUI in Kitsap County, call Kitsap Criminal Defense at 360.204.5954 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a DUI Lawyer.

What exactly is a DUI (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.

Drunk Driving or DUI 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.

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 360.471.3300 for a free 30-minute consultation with a DUI Lawyer.

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Image of a field sobriety test for DUI, Driving Under the Influence or Drunk Driving in Kitsap County.

Under most circumstances, DUI in Washington State is as Gross Misdemeanor; however, DUI 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).

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 a DUI.

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 individual 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.

Military DUI in Western Washington

If you are a military service member charged with a Dui, you are facing a unique set of challenges that could not only lead to jail time and expensive fines, but also affect your career. Kitsap Criminal Defense is led by former naval JAG Corps attorney, Retired Lieutenant Commander Eric McDonald. He is intimately familiar with military law and an experienced DUI Lawyer.

If you are a military service member charged with a DUI in Kitsap County or other Western Washington military installations, and need an experienced DUI lawyer with JAG level experience helping military service members, call 360.471.3300 for a free 30-minute consultation.

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Compass Legal Services, P.S


Kitsap Criminal Defense is a division of Compass Legal Services, P.S. (CLS), a multi-practice firm founded in 2014 by our Managing Attorney, Heather Forrler.  CLS is a trusted legal resource for individuals, families and businesses throughout Kitsap County and often beyond.  Our firm helps hundreds of clients each year in the practice areas of:

Criminal Law matters may intersect or cooccur with legal issues from other practice areas and our firm is privileged to assist clients in matters within the entire scope of our practice.