A “third-time DUI” under Washington law is when you receive a third conviction for driving under the influence within seven years of two prior DUI convictions. A third-time DUI carries harsher penalties than a first-time DUI, including longer jail time and increased fines. If you or a loved one was charged with a third DUI offense, 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 sets forth the crime of driving under the influence. Per this law, you’re guilty of DUI if you drive or are in actual physical control of your vehicle and you:
- 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.
You will receive a third-time DUI when you violate RCW 46.61.502 for a third time within seven years of two prior violations of the same statute.
What are the penalties?
The penalties for a third-time DUI are harsher than the penalties for a first-time DUI. In general, an offender with two prior DUIs in the last seven years will face:
- 90 to 364 days in jail,
- Six months in the 24/7 sobriety program,
- $1,000 to $5,000 in fines, and
- A driver’s license revocation for three years (four years if your BAC was .15% or more).
If a third-time offender refused chemical testing or had a BAC of .15% or more, the court will order:
- $1,500 to $10,000 in fines,
- 120 to 364 days in jail,
- Six months in the 24/7 sobriety program, and
- 150 days of house arrest.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. You can challenge a third-time DUI charge with a legal defense. For example, you could challenge a charge by showing that you received your prior DUI convictions more than seven years ago. You can also try to assert that you were not “under the influence” when stopped for DUI.
Please note that your criminal defense attorney can also try to show that the police somehow violated one of your constitutional rights. This showing may involve the authorities:
- Arresting you without probable cause,
- Coercing a confession, or
- Conducting an illegal search and seizure.
If any of the above, a judge may decide to reduce or dismiss your charges.
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!