In Washington State a DUI second offense can carry very serious consequences. This is particularly so if your second DUI is within 7 years of the prior DUI—because the judge has mandatory minimums that he or she cannot go below in sentencing. So, unless your charge can be reduced to a lesser offense, deferred, or you are acquitted at trial, you face pretty extreme penalties for a second DUI offense within 7 years:
If you took the breath or blood test and it was less than .15, or if there is no test result (but not because you refused testing):
- Jail: The judge can impose a maximum of 364 days in jail, but has to impose at least the minimum of 30 days.
- EHM: The judge must impose 60 days of electronic home monitoring (home detention) in addition to the jail sentence.
- Fine: The fine + statutory assessments will cost at least $1,195.50, but could go as high as $5,000.
- License Revocation: You will lose your license, permit or privilege to drive for 2 years and you will have to get SR22 insurance to reinstate, and pay a $150 reissue fee.
- Ignition interlock: The court will order you to apply for an ignition interlock driver’s license (which carries a $100 fee) and to install a functioning ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive. The cost of leasing the device depends on the company you choose, and you have to pay $20 a month on top of that. The length of time you are restricted to driving with such a device depends. If you have not previously been ordered to have such a device, then it will be for one year. If you have been previously ordered to have an ignition interlock device for a year, you will now have to have it for 5 years, and if you previously had to have it for 5 years, you will now have to have it for 10 years. Add 30 days to that if there was a passenger in the car under 16 when you were arrested.
- Probation: The judge may put you on probation for five years.
- Other: You have to get a chemical dependency evaluation from a state-approved agency and the judge will order you to complete whatever treatment they have recommended. You will also probably have to go to a DUI victim impact panel.
If your test result was .15 or higher, or you refused the test:
- Jail: The judge must sentence you to at least 45 days in jail, but can sentence you up to a maximum of 364 days.
- EHM: You will have to be on house arrest (electronic home detention) for 90 days after you are done with jail.
- Fine: The fine, with statutory assessments, starts at $1,620.50, The maximum fines is capped at $5,000.
- License Revocation:
- Took test: For 900 days your license or permit or driving privilege will be revoked and to get it back afterward, you have to get high-risk insurance, also known as SR22, and pay a reissue fee to DOL of $150.
- Refused test: A three year revocation is required on a refusal; SR22 and a $150 reissue fee once you are eligible to drive again.
- Ignition interlock: You can only drive vehicles equipped with a working ignition interlock, and you have to apply to DOL for an ignition interlock driver’s license. The application fee of $100 and proof of SR22 insurance must also be submitted to DOL. The ignition interlock restriction is for 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years, depending on whether you previously were ordered to have such a device; and if there was a person under the age of sixteen in the car, there will be another 30 days tacked on. A $20 monthly charge applies, along with whatever the company charges you for renting the device.
- Probation: Probation on a DUI is always at a maximum of five years.
- Other: Even if you were previously evaluated for chemical dependency, you will have to be re-evaluated and do whatever treatment is recommended for your diagnosis, including attending a victim panel.
Other serious consequences, not imposed by a judge, but flowing from the conviction, may follow a Washington State DUI second offense. Few people can serve the extended jail sentence without losing their job. Electronic home monitoring is at your own expense—and it is costly. The second DUI conviction will show up in background checks for employment, by a landlord, or other creditor. Canadian border guards will not permit you to cross into that country. You may be denied a rental car.
Commercial drivers convicted of a second DUI face a lifelong disqualification of their CDL. For anyone convicted of a DUI, insurance rates may skyrocket or the policy may be cancelled. For a second offense, there is a greater likelihood that a chemical dependency evaluation will result in a recommendation for intensive treatment for alcohol or drug dependency. Aside from the toll these consequences have on the person convicted, the person’s family may also suffer peripheral consequences.
A second offense DUI in Washington State is often more difficult to defend, so now, more than ever, you need a lawyer who will really fight for you. You need a lawyer who will leave no stone unturned, no thread unraveled in your defense. You’ve found one—Ms. Callahan is the respected author of the legal book on DUI, the Washington DUI Practice Manual, written for lawyers and judges. Call her for a free case evaluation now.