Licensing Penalties from a DUI Conviction

In addition to the criminal penalties for a dui conviction Washington State will suspend your drivers license. This license suspension may be in addition to an administrative suspension you may have already served (though you will get credit for the time you were already suspended, if any). The length of license suspension is determined by what criminal charge you are found guilty of, as well as your prior criminal history.

The most important time period to keep in mind is seven years.  If someone commits more than one offense within seven years (based on date of arrest, not conviction), they are subject to higher penalties and longer license suspensions.

The following outline is intended to provide you with general information about potential consequences.  To discuss your individual situation, please call 206-489-0519.

License Suspension After A DUI Conviction

The licensing consequences of a DUI are complicated (the statute can be found here). But generally, after a DUI conviction Washington State imposes increasingly harsher suspensions depending upon the severity of the DUI and the number of prior offenses. The following chart is a rough guide.



License Suspension

Ignition Interlock Device


DUI – 1st in 7 yrs


BAC below .15 or no breath test

90 days

Required for 1 year minimum

BAC above .15

1 yr


2 yrs


DUI – 2nd in 7 yrs


BAC below .15 or no breath test

2 yrs

Required for 1 yr. minimum. Possibly 5 years.

BAC above .15

2.5 yrs


3 yrs


Importantly, if you received an administrative suspension, then you get credit toward any suspension as a result of the DUI conviction. You can also drive during the license suspension with an ignition interlock license (you will have to have an ignition interlock device anyway as a result of the conviction, so you can kill two birds with one stone). Finally,  SR-22 insurance is required for 3 years from the end of the suspension.

Lesser Charges

Often DUI charges are reduced as a result of a plea bargain. In such instances, the licensing consequences are reduced or eliminated  depending on the reduction (though it doesn’t change your administrative license suspension, if any).

Reckless Driving
  • A 1st reckless driving conviction results in 30 day license suspension.
  • A 2nd offense DUI that is reduced to reckless driving results in:
  • SR-22 insurance is required for 3 years from the end of the suspension.
Negligent Driving
  • There is no mandatory license suspension for a negligent driving conviction if it is a first offense DUI.
  • A 2nd offense DUI that is reduced to reckless driving results in a 6 month ignition interlock device requirement.
  • SR 22 insurance is not required as a result of a negligent driving conviction (though you may have to have it as a result of an administrative suspension).
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.