Washington DUI Laws: FAQ

What is the legal drinking limit for drivers in Washington?

The blood alcohol limit in Washington is a 0.08 BAC, unless you are under the age of 21. If you are under the age of 21 and your BAC is 0.02 or higher then you are legally intoxicated.

When can I be charged with DUI in Washington? 

You are guilty of DUI in Washington if you drive a vehicle:

  • And you have, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood; or
  • While you are under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
  • While you under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.

What are the penalties for DUI in Washington?

The Washington DUI Penalties Include:

1st DUI Conviction (BAC 0.08-0.15):

  • Jail Time: 1 Day-1 Year (Sentence may be deferred or suspended),
  • Fine: $350-$5,000,
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Vehicle,
  • Subject to Alcohol Treatment and Assessment, and
  • Driver’s License Suspension: Minimum 90 Days.


1st DUI Conviction (BAC: 0.15 or More/Refusal to Submit to Chemical Test):

  • Jail Time: 2 Days-1 Year (Sentence may be deferred or suspended),
  • Fine: $500-$5,000
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Vehicle,
  • Subject to Alcohol Treatment and Assessment, and
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 1 Year


2nd DUI Conviction within 7 Years (BAC 0.08-0.15):

  • Jail Time: 30 Days-1 Year and 60 Days of Home Monitoring,
  • Fine: $500-$5,000
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Vehicle,
  • Subject to Alcohol Treatment and Assessment, and
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 2 Years


2nd DUI Conviction within 7 Years (BAC: 0.15 or More/Refusal):

  • Jail Time: 45 Days-1Year and 90 Days of Home Monitoring,
  • Fine: $750-$5,000
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Vehicle,
  • Subject to Alcohol Treatment and Assessment, and
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 900 Days.


3rd or 4th DUI Conviction within 7 Years (BAC 0.08-0.15):

  • Jail Time: 90 Days-1 Year and 120 Days of Home Monitoring,
  • Fine: $1,000-$5,000
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Vehicle,
  • Subject to Alcohol Treatment and Assessment, and
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 2 Years.


3rd or 4th DUI Conviction within 7 Years (BAC: 0.15 or More/Refusal):

  • Jail Time: 120 Days-1Year and 150 Days of Home Monitoring,
  • Fine: $1,500-$5,000
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Vehicle,
  • Subject to Alcohol Treatment and Assessment, and
  • Driver’s License Suspension: 4 Years.

How do I contest a DUI-related license suspension in Washington?

If you are arrested for DUI, you may request a hearing within 20 days of the arrest. In most cases, the law enforcement officer will give you a hearing request form at the time of your arrest. However, if you do not receive the form at the time of your arrest, you can make the request either online or find the form on the Washington State Department of Licensing website.

If you submit the form by mail, the form must be postmarked or received within 20 calendar days from the date of the arrest in order to be validly submitted.

What happens after a DUI arrest in Washington?

After an arrest for a DUI in Washington, your license may be suspended, though it will typically not be suspended immediately after the arrest.  If notified that your driving privileges are going to be suspended, revoked, denied, or restricted, you may request a hearing or an administrative review to contest the action.

HEARING/ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW: At the hearing, the hearing officer will consider:

  • Whether you were lawfully placed under arrest.
  • Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe:  (1) that you were driving or were in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or (2) that you were under the age of 21 years and were driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol.
  • Whether you were advised of the Implied Consent Warnings.
  • Whether you refused the breath or blood test.
  • Whether the breath or blood test exceeded the legal limits:
  • .08 or more if over age 21,
  • .02 or more if under age 21.
  • .04 or more if driving a commercial vehicle.
  • Whether the breath or blood test was administered according to the law; and
  • Washington State Toxicologist Rules.


You have the right to be represented by an attorney at the hearing.  To best protect your legal rights after a DUI arrest, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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