In the state of Washington, you can be arrested for a DUI based on the state's per se law. This means that if your blood alcohol content (BAC) tests .08% or higher, you are guilty of a DUI. DUI arrests are considered on your record for seven years. After seven years, they are not considered as previous offenses, even if you are arrested again.DUI Arrests in Washington
If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI in Washington, you will be asked to submit to a BAC breath test to determine how much alcohol is in your system. You have the right to refuse to take this test, but your refusal can be used against you in court. You will also face some automatic consequences if you refuse to take the BAC test. It is best to contact a Washington DUI lawyer before making this decision.
Your Washington DUI arrest can spark two cases, a criminal case and a hearing in the Department of Licensing. You may not face the criminal case if charges are not pressed. In both hearings, however, you face the possibility of losing your license. In order to protect your license, you need to request a license suspension hearing within 30 days of your arrest. You will also need to send $100 to the Department of Licensing to cover the costs of the hearing. To ensure that your license is not automatically suspended, contact a lawyer to ensure that you file this paperwork correctly.
If you are arrested in the Seattle area, you should know that the Seattle Municipal Court has certain rules that do not apply in other areas of the state. For instance, you will need to make an appearance in court within 48 hours of your arrest. Also, you will find that the prosecutors try to raise your bail significantly at your first appearance in court.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
The state of Washington is tough on DUI offenders. Even first time offenders will face jail time. The consequences for first time offenders are as follows:
The court may choose to give you electronic home monitoring instead of jail time for your first offense. This punishment will be at least 15 days. Subsequent offenses carry stricter penalties.License Suspensions for Washington DUI
Besides paying fines and spending time in jail, being convicted of a Washington DUI offense will also cause you to lose your license.
After serving your suspension time, you will be given a probationary license for five years. If you refuse the breath test, you automatically lose your license for one year.Insurance Consequences
Besides losing your right to drive, you will also find it difficult to obtain insurance after a Washington DUI arrest. This will make it difficult to get your license back, because the Department of Licensing requires SR-22 Proof of Insurance before you can have your license reinstated. If your current insurance company decides to keep your policy, your rates will increase dramatically. Chances are, however, that your current insurance company will drop your coverage, which will mean you have to search for a new insurance provider.