The stress and worry resulting from a traffic stop for suspected driving under the influence often do not stop there. Drunk driving charges may carry significant and lasting consequences, which may affect your personal and professional life.
Therefore, if you face charges for driving under the influence, you may benefit from understanding the potential penalties.
Mandatory jail time
According to the Washington Courts, you may face a mandatory jail sentence if convicted of DUI. For a first-time offense with a BAC of less than 0.15%, the court may sentence you to between 24 consecutive hours and 364 days in jail. The mandatory minimum and maximum jail time allowances increase if you have prior alcohol-related arrests on your record, if your BAC level exceeded 0.15 or if you refused to submit to chemical testing. In some cases, you may participate in electronic home monitoring or a jail alternative in lieu of the court ordering a jail sentence.
The court may also order you to pay fines for a DUI conviction. If you have no prior drunk driving arrests, the court may require you to pay between $990.50 and $5,000. However, the amount the court may order to you pay increases if you have prior DUI arrests, had a BAC level of more than 0.15 or denied law enforcement’s request to provide a sample for chemical testing.
Other potential consequences
In addition to ordering jail time and fines, the court may impose several other penalties. For example, the court may require you to participate in a sobriety program and alcohol or victim impact treatments as available and necessary. If you have prior arrests for drunk driving on your record, the court may order you to undergo an expanded alcohol assessment. As a result of a drunk driving conviction, you may also lose your driving privilege for between 90 days and three years.