A “second-time DUI” under Washington law is generally when a person receives a second conviction for driving under the influence within seven years of a prior DUI conviction. A second offense carries harsher penalties than a first-time DUI, including longer jail terms and increased driver’s license suspension times. If you or a loved one was charged with a second-time DUI, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney now for help.
What is “Driving Under the Influence” Under WA Law?
RCW 46.61.502 is the Washington statute that defines the crime of driving under the influence. Per this law, drivers are guilty of DUI if they drive or are in actual physical control of a vehicle and:
- Have a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or higher,
- Have a blood THC (marijuana) level of 5.0 per millimeter or higher,
- Were under the influence or affected by an intoxicating liquor or drug, and/or
- Were under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol.
A person receives a “second offense” for DUI when he/she violates RCW 46.61.502 for a second time within seven years of a prior violation of the same statute.
What are the penalties?
The penalties for a second-time DUI are harsher than the penalties for a first-time DUI. This is true for both administrative penalties and criminal penalties.
“Administrative penalties” refer to the penalties that the Washington State Department of Licensing imposes for a DUI conviction. The administrative penalties for a second-time DUI include:
- A two-year license suspension for offenders caught driving with a BAC of .08% or more or with a THC concentration of at least 5.0 nanograms per milliliter of blood.
- A two-year license suspension for any offenders that refuse chemical testing.
“Criminal penalties” refer to the penalties that a criminal court imposes for a DUI conviction. A second-time DUI is charged as a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by:
- Confinement in jail for up to one year,
- 60 days of electronic home monitoring (EHM),
- Six months in a 24/7 Sobriety Program,
- Completion of an educational or substance abuse treatment program,
- A two-year license suspension, and/or
- A maximum fine of $5,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. People accused of a second-time DUI can challenge the accusation with a legal defense. For example, an accused can challenge a second offense charge by showing that he/she was not “under the influence” when stopped for DUI. Further, defendants can also try and show that:
- The police stopped them without probable cause,
- They did not have a prior DUI conviction (or if they did, it was not within seven years of the second conviction), and/or
- The arresting officer did not follow proper procedures.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a DUI charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced DUI attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 25 years of combined experience defending clients on driving under the influence charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!