Few people plan on getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) after a fun night out. Unfortunately, one too many drinks and even a well-meaning, law-abiding person can find themselves in legal trouble.
Along with fines and jail time, you can also have your license suspended if arrested or convicted. The Washington State Department of Licensing explains a few important points regarding DUI and your driving privileges.
How law enforcement determines DUI
Breath and blood testing are often used to determine inebriation. Drivers 21 and older are not permitted to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) .08% or greater. Drivers under the legal drinking age cannot drive with a BAC of .02% or higher. Drivers with a commercial license are not permitted to drive with a BAC of .04% or greater.
You can also receive a DUI for appearing under the influence of drugs or alcohol behind the wheel, even if your BAC is below the legal limit.
Upon arrest for DUI, suspension ranges from 90 days to two years depending on the circumstances. You can contest the license suspension seven days after the arrest. A hearing is then held, which determines whether the suspension remains.
If you are actually convicted of DUI, suspension periods range from 90 day to four years. The license suspension period that occurs immediately following the arrest counts towards the post-conviction suspension period.
Some drivers are eligible for a restricted license during the suspension period. If approved, all vehicles you drive must have an ignition interlock device installed. These devices require a breathalyzer to start the vehicle, as well as during random intervals while driving.
People convicted of a DUI must also undergo an alcohol assessment. This assessment will determine whether there are any substance abuse concerns regarding your case. If so, you must attend treatment as specified by the court.