DUI Penalties

DUI Penalties in King County

1st time DUI

Once convicted for the 1st time DUI, the majority of offenders are going to receive the standard sentence:

The defendant is going to be put on informal probation and it will last for a term of up to 5 years. This is also known as the “summary” probation and it requires that the defendant does not violate any laws throughout the entire probationary period, which will result in being arrested. Furthermore, during that same period, the defendant will not be driving with any “measurable” amounts of alcohol in the blood. The issue is a “zero tolerance” one and this is why even the tiniest amounts of alcohol in the blood will be deemed as a violation of probation and will result in one’s license being suspended for one year. Moreover, the defendant must only drive with appropriate auto insurance as well as valid driver license.

The defendant will also be required to pay a fine of $390 in addition to the penalty assessment. In the end, this should take the overall fine to about $1 400.

The defendant will need to attend and finish the “first offender” DUI school, which may last from 3 and all the way up to 9 months.

The driving privileges of the defendant will be restricted – he or she will only be allowed to drive from and to work as well as during the course and scope of work and from and to the DUI classes. This restriction will be active for 3 months.

Despite the fact that Washington DUI Laws allow the incarceration of the defendant for 48 hours, many judges will allow probation instead of jail. If there are no aggravating circumstance in the case, the majority of the 1st time offenders will not need to go to jail.

In certain cases, the King County judges could also assign additional “collateral” penalties. Hence, the offender may be required to attend the AA meetings, go to the “Impact” meeting where the MADD counselor will discuss the impact, which the DUI will have on an individual’s day to day life. The judge may also sentence the offender to community service or require that the offender attend the Hospital and Morgue Program.

Furthermore, the offender may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in the car. This is essentially a breath device that is attached to the defendant’s vehicle and needs to be blown into prior to the engine start.

Collateral penalties could occur if there were factors in the 1st time offense, which tend to aggravate the case in general. Here are a few examples:

  • Car collision
  • Hit and run
  • Minors in the car
  • Refusing to submit to the chemical test
  • Speeding more than 30 mph over the allowed speed limit
  • Alcohol enhancement for alcohol levels above .15 (Longer School Time)
  • Alcohol enhancement for alcohol levels above .20 (Jail Time)
  • Driving with a suspended license

2nd time DUI

If an individual is convicted for the 2nd time DUI where the prior conviction for driving under the

The offender will also be put on probation for up to 5 years and with the same terms as well conditions that were listed for the 1st time offense.

There is going to be a mandatory minimum of 96 hours in the county jail and all the way up to a maximum sentence of one year. In case that the mandatory minimum applies, it will be able to serve in within two consecutive weekends.

The offender will have to pay $390 in fines in addition to the penalty assessment. This may take the overall sum all the way up to $2 000.

The defendant will be required to attend a second DUI school that will last from 18 to 30 months.

The suspension of one’s driver’s license will be upgraded to a “restricted” privilege after 90 days in case the defendant will install an ignition interlock device in the vehicle.

Collateral penalties – similar to the 1st time offense, County Judges are much more likely to rule out additional penalties, requiring the offender to go to the AA meetings, perform community service or submit to the HAM program.

The ignition interlock device may be required as well in addition to restricted driving privileges.

Collateral penalties may also be assigned in the 2nd time offense in case that:

  • Defendant is still on probation for the past DUI
  • Car collision
  • Hit and run
  • Minors in the car
  • Refusing to submit to the chemical test
  • Speeding more than 30 mph over the allowed speed limit
  • Alcohol enhancement for alcohol levels above .15 (Longer School Time)
  • Alcohol enhancement for alcohol levels above .20 (Jail Time)
  • Driving with a suspended license

Related Pages: DUI Defense Strategies