Driving under the influence is not an offense to be taken lightly. Do you need the services of a DUI lawyer in Kitsap County Washington? Here are three important facts you should know about DUI laws in our state.

1. What constitutes “driving under the influence?”

A DUI can apply to anyone operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, marijuana or other substances, legal or illegal. General thresholds are a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher with liquor or blood concentration of 5 or higher with THC.

If your BAC test registers a level lower than 0.08, you’re not necessarily off the hook. Police can still charge you with a DUI if they suspect you’re under the influence. In addition, you automatically receive a one-year suspension of your driver’s license if you refuse to take a BAC test.

2. What are DUI sentencing provisions?

Washington State has a three-tiered set of DUI sentencing guidelines.

• First-time offenders are subject to a mandatory court appearance. Sentencing includes up to $5,000 in fines, up to a two-year suspension of driver’s license, up to one year in jail and mandatory rehab paid for by the offender.

• For a second DUI, punishment is the same with up to a three-year suspension of driver’s license.

• With multiple DUIs, sentencing includes up to a four-year suspension of driver’s license.

Additional sanctions may include installation of ignition interlock devices (IID) and electronic home detention (EHD), which is essentially house arrest in lieu of jail time. EHD is at the judge’s discretion for first-time offenders and mandatory for repeat offenders.

3. What is deferred prosecution?

The law encourages people with addiction or mental health issues to seek help. With the assistance of a DUI lawyer in Kitsap County Washington, you can petition the court for permission to enter a treatment program instead of receiving a standard sentence. Upon successful completion of a two-year treatment, charges can be dismissed after three years provided you don’t violate the court order.

Have more questions? Contact LaCrosse & Murphy, PLLC to speak with a DUI lawyer in Kitsap County Washington.