Criminal DUI Penalties

If you are convicted of DUI in Washington State, there are certain mandatory Washington State DUI penalties that you must face. They include jail time, fines, a license suspension, alcohol evaluation and ignition interlock.

The mandatory Washington State DUI penalties vary depending upon:

  1. The number of “prior DUI offenses” with 7 years.  “Prior DUI”  includes any:
    • DUI, vehicular assault, and vehicular homicide convictions and
    • Crimes charged as DUI but later reduced to other crimes (i.e. reckless driving) or deferred prosecutions. A “prior offense” is measured as an offense wherein the arrest occurred within seven years of the date of the arrest in the current case.
  2. The breath test results. Refusals and breath test results higher than .15 have higher mandatory minimum sentences than BAC results below .15.

Mandatory Washington State DUI Penalties

1st DUI in 7 Years



License Suspension

Below .15 or no BAC

Min. Jail: 1 day (or 15 days EHM)
Min. Fine: $941

90 days

Above .15 or Refusal

Min Jail: 2 days (or 30 days EHM)
Min. Fine: $1,196

BAC: 1 yr
Refusal: 2 yrs

One (1) year of ignition interlock is also required as a result of 1st offense DUI conviction. You can also drive during the period of license suspension with an ignition interlock license (IIL).

2nd DUI in 7 Years



License Suspension

Below .15 or no BAC

Min. Jail: 30 days & 60 days EHM
Min. Fine: $1,196

2 yrs

Above .15 or Refusal

Min. Jail: 45 days & 90 days EHM
Min. Fine: $1,621

BAC: 2.5 yrs
Refusal: 3 yrs

For a 2nd offense DUI, at least one (1) year of ignition interlock is required, with the possibility of a five (5) year requirements. You can also drive during the period of license suspension with an ignition interlock license (IIL).

3rd+ DUI in 7 Years



License Suspension

Below .15 or no BAC

Min. Jail: 90 days & 120 days EHM
Min. Fine: $2046

3 yrs

Above .15 or Refusal

Min. Jail: 120 days & 150 days EHM
Min. Fine: $2,896

BAC or Refusal:
4 yrs

Depending upon the dispositions of the “prior DUI offenses,” the ignition interlock requirement for a 3rd offense is either ten (10) years, five (5) years, or as little as one (1) year. Be aware that depending on the timing of the DUIs as well as the disposition of the prior offense, three or more DUIs can make you a Washington State habitual traffic offender (HTO). Finally, if you have a valid license (you are not HTO), you can drive during the period of license suspension with an ignition interlock license (IIL).

Other Washington State DUI penalties include an alcohol evaluation and treatment. Washington law requires that those convicted of a DUI have an alcohol evaluation and complete any follow up treatment as well as a victim’s impact panel. This is a cost you will be required to pay out of your pocket.

For more information about Washington State DUI penalties, check out our Washington State DUI Penalties chart.

Aggravating Factors

For most people convicted of a 1st offense DUI, the mandatory minimum Washington State DUI penalties are likely also the worst outcome. Most judges will not impose additional jail time, fines or license suspensions beyond the mandatory minimum Washington State DUI penalties. However, judges are given great discretion in determining a DUI sentence above the mandatory minimum. Aggravating factors that can result in a longer sentence include: the number of criminal convictions in addition to DUI convictions, whether an accident was involved, whether there were passengers or children in your car, and whether you pose a risk to the community.

Jail Alternatives

In some cases, there is also the possibility of alternatives to jail instead of actual jail time. The Washington State DUI penalties statute explicitly states that mandatory jail time must be served by “imprisonment.” That has generally been understood to mean at a jail facility (rather than detained at home, or electronic home monitoring). But that still leaves open the possibility of work release. And in some counties and cities, they have special jail alternative days for 1st offense DUI offenders that allow you complete your day in jail as well as your alcohol classes in a less confining place than the county jail. Visit our work release and EHM page for more information.


One of the Washington State DUI penalties is up to five (5) years of probation. It can either be monitored, unmonitored or a combination of both. Unmonitored supervision simply means that a court clerk will check compliance with the sentence. Monitored probation means that a probation officer will be assigned to your case and you will need to maintain regular contact with your probation officer for the length of your probation.

In addition to the fines shown above, you will be required to pay the costs of probation. Unmonitored probation costs $5-$20 per month. Monitored probation ranges from from $20 to $75 per month.

Talk To A Knowledgeable Defense Attorney Before Making Any Decisions

Fury Duarte serves clients in the Seattle area and throughout Washington. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your case, and we encourage you to contact us for a complimentary consultation. You can reach our office in Bellevue by calling 425-643-1606.