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Sentence Enhancements for DUI in Washington

There are sentence enhancements in the State of Washington. Sentence enhancements Washington are based mostly on prior offenses, although there are other factors that can weigh upon the sentence that the defendant may receive.

For each driving under the influence conviction, the penalty goes up for the offender. For example, for each misdemeanor offense the offender begins with a minimum jail term of 24 hours. On the second offense that number increases to 30 days, then 90 days, etc. The other penalties also increase in time based on the degree of the offense.

If the offender has more than four misdemeanor offenses over a period of ten years, and then receives another, the person’s next offense will be treated as a felony offense, even if their blood alcohol content is not high enough to reach the standard of a felony offense.

Sentence enhancements in the State of Washington generally punish repeat offenders in order to try and stop issues quickly, and to protect the individuals who are on the roadways, but other factors regarding the defendant’s specific circumstances. For example, if the defendant caused an accident because of their intoxication, if the defendant had children in the car, if the defendant was difficult or belligerent with police officers upon their arrest.

Enhanced Penalty Blood-Alcohol Concentration

The State of Washington increases the penalty for offenders who have an enhanced blood alcohol concentration, which specifically references a blood alcohol content of .15%, almost twice the legal limit, which is below .08%. Having a blood alcohol concentration of .15% takes the crime of driving under the influence from a misdemeanor to a felony. The offense in this case is considered must more serious, and caries a much stricter penalty. On the first offense, the offender must serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail, but no more than one year. The fines that the offender will be charged are stricter, a minimum of over one thousand dollars, and the offender’s license will be suspended for one to two years. They will still be subject to the ignition interlock penalty, and five years of probation.


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