24Jul 2015
Jul 24, 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in Washington

In Washington, it is illegal for drivers under the age of 21 years to drink alcohol, as a result they are considered to be legally drunk when there is any detectable amount of alcohol in their blood. Non-commercial drivers above 21 years are legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is more than .08. For commercial vehicle drivers, they are legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is more than .04.

Washington Drunk Driving Penalties

For first time DUI offenders with a BAC level less than .15, they face:

  • A prison sentence of up to 1 year
  • A fine ranging from $350 to $5,000. However, if the offenders BAC level is more than .15. he/she faces a fine of $500 to $5,000

For second time offenders within 7 years of their previous conviction and a BAC level less than .15, they face:

  • A prison sentence not exceeding 1 year and 2 months of electronic home monitoring
  • The offender will be subjected to pay a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000
  • If the offender’s BAC level was more than .15, the fine is between $750 and $5,000 and the electronic monitoring period is up to 3 months

For offenders who commit a third or fourth offence within 7 years of their first offence and their BAC level is below .15, they face:

  • A prison sentence of 3 months to 1 year and 4 months of electronic home monitoring
  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
  • If the offender had a BAC level that is more than .15, the prison sentence is 4 months to 1 year and 5 months of electronic home monitoring. The fine will be from $1,500 to $5,000

For offender committing their fifth offence within 10 years of their first offence, they face:

  • A prison sentence of up to 8 years
  • A fine not exceeding  $10,000

 

The Point System in Washington

Washington does not use the point system; however, if you commit any traffic violation it will be recorded on your driving record by the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). Too many traffic violations may result in your driver’s license cancellations, revocations or suspensions, fines, reinstatement fees, driving restrictions and higher car insurance rates. Alcohol-related convictions remain on your driving record for life.