8 September, 2020

DUI sentencing is complicated and difficult to understand. To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ve assembled this simple guide to Washington State’s DUI sentencing grid. 

Whether it’s you or a friend who has recently been charged with a DUI, it’s important to understand DUI sentencing and to have a reliable DUI defense attorney by your side.

DUI Sentencing Grid

What is the DUI Sentencing Grid?

DUI convictions carry mandatory minimum penalties. From minimum fines to minimum jail time, all of these consequences are detailed in Washington State Courts’ DUI sentencing grid. You can use this grid to estimate the potential punishments of a DUI or to understand why the court has sentenced you a certain way. 

Here is the link to Washington’s official DUI sentencing grid. Open the link in another tab and follow along with this guide.

The far left column is where BAC levels are recorded. BAC stands for blood alcohol content and the legal limit is .08% BAC. 

An Explanation of Washinton State’s DUI Sentencing Grid

The top portion of the grid deals with drivers who have a BAC less than .15% or drivers who were not given a breathalyzer test (this does not apply to drivers who refused to take the breath test but only to those who were not given a breathalyzer test by the officer who pulled them over). 

To start, this guide will only explain what happens to drivers who had a BAC less than .15% or who were not given a breathalyzer test. 

Washington State’s DUI Sentencing Grid Breakdown: Jail Time

  • Drivers with no prior driving offenses will be sentenced to a minimum of 24 consecutive hours in jail with the potential of spending up to 364 days in jail. 
  • Drivers with one prior DUI offense within the past seven years face between 30 and 364 days in jail. 
  • Or, if a driver has had two prior offenses, they face between 90 and 364 days in jail. 
  • These sentences go up significantly if the driver was transporting a passenger under the age of 16. 

Washington State’s DUI Sentencing Grid Breakdown: Fines

  • Drivers without prior offenses can expect a fine between $990 and $5,000. 
  • With one prior offense, drivers are looking at a minimum of a $1,245 fine or a maximum fine of $5,000. 
  • For two prior offenses, drivers can expect to pay between $2,095 and $5,000. 

Washington State’s DUI Sentencing Grid Breakdown: License Suspension

Here’s a breakdown of the DUI sentencing grid’s license suspension for DUIs under .15% BAC:

  • No prior offenses: minimum of 90 days license suspension
  • One prior offense: license revoked for two years
  • Two prior offenses: license revoked for three years

Washington State’s DUI Sentencing Grid Breakdown: IID

IID stands for “ignition interlock device.” This is a device into which drivers convicted of DUIs must breathe into before their car starts up. The device has a breathalyzer installed and if an individual’s breath shows levels of alcohol above the legal limit, the car won’t start — preventing the driver from driving. 

According to the DUI sentencing grid, IID’s are mandatory for all drivers convicted of a DUI in Washington State.

BAC Greater Than .15% DUI Sentencing Grid Breakdown

Drivers found with a BAC greater than .15% or drivers who refuse to do a breathalyzer test when asked by an officer face significantly higher sentences and punishments. Jail time, fines, and license suspension numbers all increase greatly with the potential for court-ordered alcohol therapy attendance. 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a DUI with a BAC greater than .15% or have refused a breathalyzer test, working with a DUI defense attorney is crucial.

Contact a Washington DUI Defense Attorney Today

In need of a reliable DUI defense attorney in Washington State? Contact Leyba Defense today to schedule your first consultation. Matthew Leyba has been serving Washington State drivers for more than a decade and has built a successful career in criminal defense. 

Contact Leyba Defense today to get the best Washington State DUI attorney on your side.