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Washington DUI Laws

A person is found guilty of Driving under the Influence if they meet one of several conditions. First, if the person has a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher within two hours of operating a motor vehicle. Second, if a person operates a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor or “any other drug”.

There are stricter rules for individuals in the state of Washington who are under the legal age of consumption. In that situation, a blood alcohol level of .02% is all that is needed for a driving under the influence.

For the first commission of driving under the influence, the defendant may be able to have the prosecution deferred, however it can be renewed at a later time, likely the commission of a second charge of driving under the influence.

There are also drastic secondary effects from a driving under the influence arrest based upon the circumstances of the arrest. The most prominent example of those is that if a defendant is arrested for a driving under the influence charge, and their child is in the car, Determined as an individual under the age of thirteen, the child may be taken into state custody.

Driving under the influence is a gross misdemeanor, unless it meets several conditions which make the offense a class C felony under Washington law. Those conditions are one of the following: if the offender has four or more prior offenses within the past ten years, the offender has ever been convicted of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault while under the influence of an intoxicating drug or liquor, either in the state of Washington or another state.


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