The DUI Book - Washington Edition
A Citizen's Handbook
on Fighting a Drunk Driving Case.
Washington State DUI Second Offense
What are the penalties for a second time offense for DUI in Washington within seven years?
If you are convicted of a second-offense DUI, you potentially face the following penalties, depending on the facts of your case, including whether you refused the breath or blood test and whether you had a high test result:
- 30 day minimum-364 days maximum in jail (45 days minimum if you refused the test or the results were .15 or higher)
- At least 60 days of electronic home monitoring (90 if you refused the test or the results were .15 or higher)
- Fines, costs and assessments between $1,195.50 and $8,845.50.
- 2-3 year license revocation
- SR22 insurance upon reinstatement
- Ignition interlock (IID) requirement following reinstatement (at least 1 year if you have never previously been ordered to have an IID, five years if one prior restriction, 10 years if two prior restrictions)
- Up to 60 months probation
Does a prior conviction for another charge many years ago count as a “prior offense”?
Yes, if the dates of arrest are within seven years of one another, and if the prior conviction was for Reckless Driving, Negligent Driving in the First Degree, Reckless Endangerment originally filed as a DUI or Physical Control or a Deferred Prosecution for DUI or Physical Control. A prior offense for Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault, or Felony DUI makes the new offense a felony.
Will a prior DUI from a different state count as a “prior offense”?
It could, if the offense in the other state is substantially similar to the elements of the crime in our State. The prosecutor may find out about the prior if he or she requests your record from the national database.
Is it possible to avoid jail time for a second offense DUI?
It depends on whether you have a lawyer who will leave no stone unturned in search of perhaps the single thread that will unravel the case against you. There are a number of ways to avoid jail time for a second offense DUI, including, ideally, avoiding conviction of the charge of a second offense DUI. Just because this is your second arrest does not necessarily mean that the prosecutor has strong enough evidence against you to score the conviction, or that jail is the only possible outcome. You should not simply give up, and you should choose an attorney who won’t simply give up but will roll up their sleeves and fight for you.
What will happen if I have two prior DUIs but only one counts as a “prior offense”?
If one of the priors is outside of the seven-year time period or otherwise ineligible to be treated as a “prior offense,” you will only be subject to the mandatory minimum penalties for a second offense DUI if you are convicted of the charge. However, the fact that you have two prior DUIs likely will deter the prosecutor from offering a reduction of the charge to something less serious, and if convicted, the judge will also consider all prior offenses of any kind in deciding how to sentence you.
What, if anything, can a DUI lawyer even do to help me when I am facing a second offense DUI?
Pleading guilty to a second offense DUI without seeking the advice of a qualified attorney would only make a bad situation much, much worse. Because the potential consequences are more severe the second time around, it is that much more crucial for an attorney to examine your case critically. Were your constitutional rights violated? Was the breath or blood alcohol test performed properly? Did some other factor such as a physical or medical problem produce an artificially high test result? You can count on a skilled DUI lawyer to investigate the answers to these questions vigilantly in an effort to protect you from the harsh consequences of a second offense DUI.
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Disclaimer: This site contains general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice, nor does it substitute for the professional judgment of Ms. Callahan concerning the facts and the laws that apply in your individual case.