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Washington State DUI Third Offense



If you have been arrested in Washington State for a third DUI, be sure to have a bail bondsperson at hand or someone ready to post bail for you at your first court hearing. 
There is a substantial risk that the judge will require that you be taken into custody and that you post bail or bond to be released while your case is pending. 

Hefty consequences are imposed on a third DUI in Washington State--even if your priors were a long time ago.  You see, the judge MUST sentence you to certain mandatory minimums if this is your third offense in 7 years, BUT, the judge can always impose up to the maximum penalties, even if the prior offenses occurred outside of that period. So, depending on the result of breath or blood testing, or a refusal to submit to testing, if this is your third DUI conviction within 7 years, the penalties are:

            A result less than .15, or no result (but not a refusal):

  • Jail:  The judge may give you up to 364 days in jail.  The least the judge can impose is 90 days in jail.
  • EHM: After the jail term is served, there will be 120 days on electronic home monitoring to be served—at your own expense.
  • Fine:  The mandatory minimum fine is $2,045.50, with statutory assessments, but you can pay up to the maximum of a $5,000 fine.
  • License Revocation:  Upon conviction, DOL will revoke your license for 3 years.  To reinstate it after that period, you have to get SR22 insurance and pay a $150 fee.
  • Ignition interlock: You may drive only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock.  Even if you choose not to drive a vehicle, the court will order you to get the device and apply for an ignition interlock driver’s license. The application costs $100, and you will pay $20 per month plus the cost of leasing the device—which varies depending on the company you select.  If you have not previously been ordered to have an ignition interlock device, you will need it for a year.  If you have previously been ordered to have one for a year, you will now be ordered to have one for 5 years.  If, however, you were previously ordered to have one for 5 years, you will now be ordered to have it for 10 years.  Also, an additional 30 days applies if there was a passenger in the vehicle under the age of 16.
  • Probation: The judge may impose up to 5 years of probation.
  • Other: The judge will require that you obtain a chemical dependency evaluation and submit to the course of treatment recommended for you.  You may also have to attend a DUI victim impact panel.

A result of .15 or more, or the officer claims the test was refused:

  • Jail:  The least you can be sentenced to is 120 days, the most is 364 days.
  • EHM: In addition to jail, you will have to do 150 days on electronic home monitoring at your own expense.
  • Fine:  The fine begins at $2,895.50 and is capped at $5,000.
  • License Revocation
    • Took test: 4 years, and to get your license back afterward, you must obtain high-risk insurance (SR22) and pay $150 fee to DOL.
    • Refused test:  4 years; SR22 and $150 fee.
  • Ignition interlock: Driving or not, you must apply to DOL for an ignition interlock driver’s license, which costs $100, and requires SR22 insurance. You must not drive a vehicle without a functioning ignition interlock device.  The device will cost $20 per month plus the monthly fee you pay to the provider of the device.  The device is required for a year if you’ve not been previously ordered to have one; 5 years if previously you had a 1 year requirement, 10 years if you previously had a 5 year requirement. Another 30 days may be imposed if a passenger under 16 was in the vehicle.
  • Probation: Probation length is a maximum of five years.
  • Other: An alcohol or drug dependency assessment is required, and you must complete treatment if it is required.  Typically the offender will also have to sit in on a DUI victim impact panel.

As you can see, if this is your third DUI offense in seven years you face pretty harsh consequences—but even if your prior offenses are outside of that 7 year window, the consequences may be no less severe. 

Aside from the legal statutory consequences, you also may suffer employment troubles as a result of the conviction or the jail time.  If you are a CDL holder, you may lose your commercial drover’s license for a lifetime is this is considered to be a subsequent DUI conviction.  A DUI conviction stays on your record for your lifetime and will appear on a background check.  Don’t plan on going to Canada—they won’t let you in without “rehabilitation.” You may have problems renting or leasing a car.  Chances are pretty high that you will be in treatment for a year or more. Such programs are costly, adding to the costs you are looking at: fines, ignition interlock costs, probation fees, insurance, etc.

If you face a third DUI in Washington State, you need a lawyer who will really fight to defend you.  These are highly technical cases and it takes a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer to give you a fighting chance—because the prosecutor is not going to go easy on you.  Ms. Callahan is the author of the widely held and respected Washington DUI Practice Manual, written for lawyers and judges.  She knows how to defend even the most difficult of cases with passion, integrity and intensity.  Call us for a free consultation now.


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