All adult DUI convictions, including non-felony misdemeanor convictions, in Washington State carry mandatory minimum penalties. These mandatory minimums come from the legislature and generally can be found in the Revised Code of Washington 46.61.5055. When the legislature amends these penalties, the Washington State Court system drafts a quick reference sheet.
It’s important to remember we’re talking about mandatory minimum penalties for actual Driving Under the Influence convictions. If you and your attorney avoid a conviction for a DUI, then the judge is not required to impose the mandatory minimum penalties. This can be done through negotiating a reduction to a lesser charge, dismissal of the DUI charge or an acquittal at trial.
A first offense conviction for DUI carries mandatory penalties of at least one day in jail and a minimum fine of about $1,000.00. Additionally, all DUI convictions include a loss of driver’s license, a minimum 12 month ignition interlock requirement, an alcohol/drug evaluation, alcohol/drug treatment and attendance at the DUI Victim’s Impact Panel. These are minimum penalties and a judge is allowed to impose higher penalties after a conviction.
As the offense level goes up, second and subsequent misdemeanor offenses, so do the minimum penalties. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor DUI conviction can be up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $5,000.00. Also, having multiple prior convictions can lead to a DUI charge actually being a felony DUI, which has significantly higher mandatory penalties than those outlined here for misdemeanor DUI convictions. There is also a criminal charge called Driving Under 21 Consuming Alcohol or Marijuana, which we refer to as a “Baby DUI” charge, that does not fall under these mandatory minimum penalties.
DUI charges have so many negative consequences. Regardless of the offense level you’re facing it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to counsel you on the specifics of your case.