The Washington State DUI Sentencing Grid details the mandatory minimum penalties for misdemeanor convictions. There is a different sentencing structure for felony DUI’s, which are relatively rare. The misdemeanor grid is split into columns by “prior offenses” and rows by breath or blood alcohol content (BAC). The higher the offense level, the higher the penalties a judge is required to impose after conviction. The grid only sets baseline penalties and a judge can certainly impose higher penalties above these minimums.

The first step to determining the penalties for a misdemeanor DUI is to find the correct column on the grid. The three columns are: “No prior DUI offenses,” “One prior offense within 7 years” and “Two or More prior offenses within 7 years.” There are specific convictions that count as a prior offense, but generally, this term refers to a DUI conviction or a DUI arrest that resulted in a conviction for Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment or Negligent Driving First Degree.

The next step is to determine the correct row on the grid. The top row is for a “no test,”  those impaired by a substance other than alcohol, like marijuana, or who had a BAC of .14 or lower. The bottom row is for those accused of refusing a breath test or whose BAC level is .150 or higher. There are elevated penalties for those convicted of DUI with a refusal or with an elevated breath or blood test.

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI, then you should contact Cooney Law Offices. Our knowledgeable DUI attorneys can explain the potential penalties. They will investigate and analyze the evidence in your case and help guide you to the best possible resolution.  Call Cooney Law Offices today. We can help!