Legal Professional?
Build Your Business

Things to Know if Charged With Drunk Driving in Seattle



Whether you live in Queen Anne, Magnolia, Capitol Hill or elsewhere in the Seattle area, if you are arrested for drunk driving, Seattle DUI laws are important for you to know.

This article will explain to you the basics of drunk driving Seattle laws. It will also help you understand how to seek out Seattle DUI lawyers to represent you.

The Basics of Drunk Driving Seattle Laws

In Seattle, the crime of drunk driving is known as DUI. DUI stands for driving under the influence.

You will be charged with a DUI if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or above. BAC is the measure of alcohol in your blood. A BAC of .08 means you have eight one-hundredths of a percent of alcohol in your bloodstream.

Seattle penalizes those with a BAC of .15 or higher more harshly.

If you are under the age of 21, you will receive a DUI for driving with a BAC of .02 or greater.

To determine BAC, you will have to undergo BAC testing at the police station. You will either have your blood or your breath tested to determine your BAC. If you refuse to take part in the BAC test, your license will be revoked under the Seattle implied consent law.

Seattle DUI Penalties

Those with a BAC under .15 receive lighter punishment under the drunk driving Seattle laws.

A first-time offender with a BAC under .15 may receive the following punishments:

  • Jail time for at least a day and up to a year or 15 days of electronic home monitoring
  • Fines from $865.50 to $5,000
  • License suspension for 90 days

A second offense with a BAC under .15 is punishable by:

  • Jail time for 30 days to one year and 60 days of electronic home monitoring
  • Fines from $1,120.50 to $5,000
  • License suspension for two years

A third DUI offense with a BAC under .15 is punishable by:

  • Jail time for 90 days to one year and 120 days of electronic home monitoring
  • Fines from $1,970.50 to $5,000
  • License suspension for three years

If you have a BAC of .15 or greater, your first offense is punishable by:

  • Jail time for from two days to one year or 30 days of electronic home monitoring
  • Fines from $1,120.50 to $5,000
  • License suspension for one year

A second DUI conviction with a BAC of .15 or greater is punishable by:

  • Jail time for from 45 days to one year and 90 days of electronic home monitoring
  • Fines from $1,545.50 to $5,000
  • License suspension for 900 days

A third DUI conviction with a BAC of .15 or greater is punishable by:

  • Jail time for from 120 days to one year and electronic home monitoring for 150 days
  • Fines from $2,820.50 to $5,000
  • License suspension for four years

Hiring a Seattle DUI Attorney

If you are arrested for DUI in Seattle, you will want to seek the help of a lawyer. Either you or someone you trust should take the necessary steps to investigate Seattle DUI attorneys for you.

You can begin your search by asking friends and family members for referrals. Ask if they have used a Seattle DUI lawyer in the past. Would they recommend that attorney?

You can also use a site like Attorneys.com. Just fill out the online questionnaire, and Attorneys.com will connect you to at least one Seattle-area DUI lawyer.

Next, set up initial consultations with any attorney you're interested in hiring. This meeting is your chance to ask the lawyer questions about his experience, case management, legal strategy and fees. You can also tell the lawyer about your case. The purpose of the meeting is to decide whether to hire the lawyer.

Remember to bring pen and paper to the meeting so you can take notes.

Question to consider asking include:

  • How long has the attorney handled Seattle DUI cases?
  • Has he ever handled a DUI case like yours?
  • What does he think of your case?
  • What fee arrangement does the lawyer use? Can he provide an estimate of his costs?
  • Will there be anyone else working on your case? If so, can you meet them?
  • If you have a question for the attorney, how can you reach him? How long will it take or him to respond?

Once you are done interviewing attorneys, make a hiring decision. Don't just select the attorney with the most experience. Hire someone you trust and are comfortable speaking to.