New Updated Information About DUIs in Washington State:

As of January 1, 2009, you only have 20 days to request a DOL hearing after being cited for DUI.  Ignition Interlock Licenses may void your right to a hearing.  Call now for a free consultation.

DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian M. Sullivan
(425) 322-1076


Washington DUI Laws:

Washington’s DUI Laws are codified mostly under RCW 46.61.  However, numerous other statutes and sections of the Washington Administrative Code govern rules and procedures of DUI cases in Washington.  Obviously, you benefit greatly from an experienced DUI lawyer who works on these issues daily.

Affected to an Appreciable Degree?

Under Washington law, you don’t just have to have a certain breath/blood test level to be convicted of DUI.  In addition, the Washington State DUI statute also allows for DUI conviction if the person is “affected to an appreciable degree.”  While this is a very unclear standard, in my practice I have seen cases where individuals were charged with DUI for a breath test as low as .04 because the officer felt they were affected by alcohol to an appreciable degree.

Where can I find the Washington State DUI Statutes?

RCW section 46.61 contains many of the sections, but a closer look at the WAC and other case law is required as well.

What is the Washington State “Per Se” BAC Level?

Adults with a .08 BAC (breath test) or higher are “per se” DUI in WA.  As of August 2005, all states have DUI laws that deem “per se intoxicated” any driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08 percent. This means that drivers with a BAC at or above .08 are intoxicated in the eyes of the law, and no additional proof of driving impairment is necessary.

Does Washington Have a Minor “Zero Tolerance” BAC Level?

Minors with a .02 BAC (breath test) or higher are “per se” Minor DUI in WA. All states carry “zero tolerance” laws that target drivers under the legal drinking age. In WA, these laws penalize persons under 21 for operating a vehicle with a negligible BAC level of .02 percent.

Is there an Enhanced Penalty BAC Level in Washington?

Yes, a .15 or greater BAC test in Washington is much more severe. If you blow over a .15, the penalities are greatly enhanced.

What if I Refuse the Breath Test?

Refusing the Breath Test (BAC) is grounds for increased penalties, both for a potential license suspension and criminal penalties. A first-time DUI conviction where the person is found to have refused is subject to a one-year license revocation.

Is there Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment / Treatment?

Alcohol education and treatment/assessment penalties for DUI offenders can include mandatory attendance at DUI prevention programs, and assessment of potential alcohol dependency problems. Such programs are often made “conditions” of the person’s release or conviction for a DUI.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

A vehicle ignition interlock breath-testing device measures a vehicle operator’s BAC, and will prevent operation of the vehicle if more than a minimal amount of alcohol is detected (i.e., BAC level of .02). DUI offenders are required to pay the costs of installation, rental, and maintenance of an ignition interlock device.

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The Answer to Your Best Defense:
NW Washington (WA) DUI Lawyer “Brian M. Sullivan”
(425) 322-1076

Serving all North King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom County.  Also Serving Zip Codes: 98020, 98021, 98026, 98036, 98037, 98043, 98046, 98082, 98087, 98201, 98203, 98204, 98205, 98206, 98207, 98208, 98213, 98223, 98241, 98251, 98252, 98256, 98258, 98259, 98270, 98271, 98272, 98275, 98287, 98290, 98291, 98292, 98293, 98294, 98296, Snohomish County, WA.