Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other intoxicants, including marijuana and even prescription drugs, is a serious offense in Washington. Even a first offense can result in a one-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $5,000. However, the most severe sentences are reserved for those whose actions result in the death or bodily injury of another. And regardless of the severity, those convicted of a DUI in the state will almost always have their driver license suspended for at least 90 days, on up to three years and a possible revocation for repeat offenders.
Learn more about Washington's DUI laws below.
Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.
Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL)
As in most states, Washington offers those convicted of a DUI the limited opportunity to drive using an ignition interlock device (IID), which requires the driver to submit a valid (i.e. sober) breath sample before starting the car. To be eligible for the program in Washington, you must meet the following requirements:
- An arrest or conviction on charges of DUI, physical control involving drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, vehicular assault/homicide involving drugs or alcohol
- Washington State residence and valid Washington driver license
- Current suspension doesn't include minor in possession or habitual traffic offender charges
To apply, first get an IID installed on your vehicle (the Department of Licensing will provide proof of installation), get proof of financial responsibility, and send in your restricted driver license application along with payment.
Washington DUI Resources
- DUI Statute: Driving under the Influence (Rev. Code Wash. 46.61.502).
- DUI in Washington - Basics on DUI offenses under Washington law (Washington Dept. of Licensing).
- Ignition Interlock - Overview of the requirements for obtaining and using an ignition interlock license (Washington Dept. of Licensing).
- DUI Hearings - Basics on how hearing work and how one should prepare (Washington Dept. of Licensing).
- How to Reinstate Your License - This site will walk you through the process of reinstating your license after a suspension (Washington Dept. of Licensing).
- Minor in Possession - All about Washington law with respect to minors possessing alcoholic beverages (Washington Dept. of Licensing).
- CDL Disqualifications: DUI - The details about commercial driver's license disqualification after a DUI conviction (Washington Dept. of Licensing)
- Washington DUI Laws - Additional details about Washington's impaired driving laws from FindLaw's State Laws section.
Get Professional Legal Help With Your Washington DUI Case
Whether you have been arrested for driving drunk, under the influence of legally accessible marijuana, or some other substance, it's the state's job to get a conviction. If you decide to go it alone, you may miss opportunities to challenge evidence or otherwise protect your interests. A Washington DUI attorney will work on your behalf to ensure the best defense possible.