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What should you know about drunk driving in Washington?

We all know impaired driving is illegal in Washington, regardless of the cause of the impairment. The state's laws cover illegal and legal drugs, medications and alcohol. All drivers should understand these laws so they can avoid facing criminal DUI charges.

The penalties for a drunk driving charge in this Washington State are considerable. Even on a first offense you face the possibility of time in jail and fines. Other penalties include having your driver's license suspended, having to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle and having to attend alcohol and drug treatment.

What is the legal limit in Washington?

When it comes to DUI's there are several different limits that you need to be aware of. For non-commercial vehicle drivers, who are at least 21 years old, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08. For drivers who are under 21 the alcohol limit is .02. When driving commercial vehicle the BAC limit is .04. Finally, Washington State also has a limit on the amount of THC or marijuana in the driver's blood. It is illegal to be 21 or older and have a blood THC level of 5.0 nanograms or above. For those under 21 it is illegal to have any blood THC level and drive. It is also possible to face charges even if you are below these limits if you are showing signs of impairment that make it unsafe for you to drive a vehicle.

What are the penalties for a conviction?

On a first offense, your driver's license will be at risk for at least 90 days. You also face up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 unless there are extenuating circumstances.

You can face enhanced penalties if you are involved in an accident that leads to injuries or property damage. Having a child in the car can also lead to more serious penalties. There may be additional penalties for refusing a breath test, so it's important to call an attorney as soon as possible after being pulled over.

Convictions after the first one also come with harsher penalties. Base on prior offenses some folks will face felony DUI charges. The increase to a felony means you are facing substantially hirgher penalties including time in prison.

It is imperative that you work on your defense right away when you are charged with this crime. There are many options possible that you can review with your attorney, so be sure to choose a strategy that addresses your side of the matter.

What is the legal limit in Washington?

There are four limits that you need to be aware of in this state. For non-commercial drivers who are at least 21 years old, the blood alcohol concentration limit is .08%. People who are underage have a limit of .02%, and those who have a commercial driver's license have a limit of .04%. Finally, the state has a limit on the amount of THC in the blood of a driver. It is illegal to have a level of 5.0 per millimeter or above. It is also possible to face charges even if you are below these limits if you are showing signs of impairment that make it unsafe for you to drive a vehicle.

What are the penalties for a conviction?

On a first offense, your driver's license is suspended for at least 90 days. The suspension begins 45 days after you are convicted. You also face up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 unless there are extenuating circumstances.

You can face enhanced penalties if you are involved in an accident that leads to injuries or property damage. Having a child in the car can also lead to more serious penalties. There are specific penalties for failing to submit to a chemical test, so think about this if you are pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving.

Convictions after the first one also come with harsher penalties. Some habitual offenders can face felony charges instead of the gross misdemeanor that a first offense is classified as. The increase to a felony means you are facing time in prison instead of jail.

It is imperative that you work on your defense right away when you are charged with this crime. There are many options possible that you can review with your attorney, so be sure to choose a strategy that addresses your side of the matter.

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