Learn More About DWIs

Washington DUI & DWI Laws

Jun 30, 2016

In Washington you can be convicted of DUI or driving under the influence for both the use of drugs and/or alcohol while driving. You can be convicted  if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or greater. A driving under the influence (DUI) charge is a crime committed by operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.

Legal limit in Washington

  • Standard, non-commercial drivers: .08% BAC
  • Commercial drivers: .04% BAC
  • Drivers under 21: .02% BAC

Penalties, Fines, & Suspension

Washington DUI & DWI Penalties, Fines, & Suspension
Penalty 1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense
Sentence 24 hours to 1 year 30 days to 1 year 90 days to 1 year
Fine $865 to $5,000 $1,150 to $5,000 $1,970 to $5,000
Driver’s License Suspension 90 days to 1 year 2 years to 900 days 3 to 4 years


Chemical Test Refusal

Under Washington’s implied consent law, a driver is required to take a chemical breath or blood test if an officer has probable cause that a driver is drunk driving.  If you do not comply with the chemical test, the state can suspend a person’s driving privileges. If a driver refuses a chemical test multiple times, the punishment is increased. All driver’s license suspension for chemical test refusal is in addition to any punishment for the DUI conviction.

1st offense: License suspension for 1 year
2nd offense: License suspension for 2 years
3rd offense: License suspension for 3 years

Ignition Interlock

A driver will be required to install an ignition interlock device in order to operate their vehicle while their license has been suspended  if convicted of a DUI. After the first DUI offense you must have an IID for a least one year, after the second offense you must have an IID for at least 5 years and after three or more offenses you must have a IID for at least 10 years.

Criminal Record

A DUI in Washington will remain on an offender’s record for 7 years. During this time prior DUI’s are subject to sentencing.

Under 21

In Washington, if a minor is convicted of drunk driving with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .02% or greater will be penalized with imprisonment up to 1 year, a fine of $250 to $1,000 and a license suspension for 90 days.

DWI with a Child Passenger

If an adult is convicted of a DUI with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle child protective services (CPS) could become involved in the case to investigate. The driver will also be subject to additional fines from $1,000 to $5,000, possible jail time up to 1 year and will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle for 6 months. Underage DUI convictions can also be accompanied by various other charges such as minor in possession (MIP) or distributing alcohol to other minors in the vehicle.

More on WA DUI Laws:

Washington Center for Disease Control: Drunk Driving Fact Sheet:


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Updated: July 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm