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Examples of criminal traffic offenses in Washington State

When you get a traffic ticket in Washington, you expect a fine and some points on your driving record. You may not realize that some traffic offenses are considered criminal offenses.

Can you be charged with DUI in Washington if you're below 0.08?

Yes, you can. It's one of the more common misconceptions people have about our drunk driving law, and it comes up a lot -- especially now that portable breath testing devices are widely available to the public. A lot of people try to avoid a DUI by using handheld breath testers at bars. This seems like a responsible way to ensure your blood alcohol level remains below 0.08, but it's no guarantee you won't be charged.

Basic facts regarding Washington DUI stops

Being pulled over in traffic by Washington law enforcement can be stressful. If the officer detects the odor of alcohol or suspects driver impairment, a roadside investigation may follow. If you find yourself in this situation, there are some things you should know.

Mandatory prison term is imposed for vehicular homicide while DUI

The consequences of drunk driving in Washington State can be devastating to both the offender and to people harmed by impaired driving. The penalties for driving under the influence are progressively increased, depending on various factors such as the blood alcohol level, the number of prior convictions in the past seven years, whether an accident occurred and related factors. When a DUI offense is the direct cause of death of another, the accused offender will face a substantial mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.

Lawmakers debate increased punishment for repeat DUI offenses

Washington State legislators are looking at the drunk driving laws with an eye toward increasing the punishment for repeat offenders. That movement may be strengthened after reports of the death of a 28-year-old woman on I-5 in recent days. The man who crashed into her vehicle was driving in the wrong direction and had a suspended license. He had a total of six DUI convictions on his record, with two of them within the past 10 years.

Truck driver charged with DUI after wreck

Washington police recently arrested a driver allegedly responsible for a single-vehicle wreck on Interstate 5. The truck driver is charged with a DUI and may have been working when he wrecked his tractor-trailer. The wreck also caused severe traffic congestion for hours, with cars backed up for several miles. 

What are some of the potential consequences of a DUI?

Most Washington drivers know that a DUI conviction can result in jail time and high fines. In Washington, a first-time offender may face up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. In addition to the penalties stemming from a guilty judgment and sentence imposed by a court, a first-time offender may also face collateral consequences that could have a significant impact on his/her day-to-day life and career goals. What potential collateral consequences should someone be aware of after a drunk driving conviction?

What is an E-DUI?

Distracted driving is dangerous and Washington State has a new way to combat it. In June of 2017, state legislature enacted a stricter law regarding distracted driving. A new citation called a "driving under the influence of electronics" or an E-DUI can now be issued.

Should you fight your DUI?

The days after your first DUI are difficult. You no doubt feel helpless and maybe even fearful of what the consequences may be. DUI cases in Washington come with criminal and civil penalties, including suspension of your license or even jail time. This isn't ironclad, though.

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