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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) & DOL Notices

If you were arrested for DUI, you only have 7 days from the date of your arrest to file a request for a Department of Licensing (DOL) administrative hearing to challenge your license suspension. Don't wait until you receive criminal charging documents in the mail to act. Read both sides of the paperwork, contact a Seattle DUI attorney, and carefully consider if you would like to request a hearing.It is very important that the DOL has your current address in order to ensure you receive any notices of pending suspensions and/or information on how to request a civil DOL hearing. If you have moved or if the address of your driver's license is different than your current mailing address, don't assume the DOL has your current mailing address on file. You can visit the DOL website for more information on how to update your address.

Driving Under the Influence: As defined under RCW 46.61.502, a person may be charged with Driving Under the Influence if he or she drives a vehicle within this state:

(a) And has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(c) While he/she is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or

(d) While he/she is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug

Classification: Gross misdemeanor. A gross misdemeanor carries up to a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.  See the DUI sentencing grid page for more information.

Aggravating Factors. While prosecutors may offer the mandatory minimum sentence as an incentive to plead guilty, there are aggravating factors that may result in a prosecutor seeking more jail time than the minimum required by statute.  Examples of aggravating factors include:

  1. If the accused was rude or disparaging to law enforcement
  2. Whether the defendant was responsible for injury to another person or another's property;
  3. Whether there were any passengers (particularly a child).
  4. BAC greater than .15.
  5. Abusive or very uncooperative defendant.
  6. Multiple prior traffic convictions which do not count as priors for DUI, including DUI, Vehicular Homicide, and Vehicular Assault convictions older than 7 years.
  7. There is evidence of the defendant being under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
  8. Officer's opinion of intoxication level is “extreme.”
  9. Prior convictions for offenses involving drugs or alcohol.
  10. Presence of drugs or alcohol in the vehicle.

 Mitigating Factors: In some situations, prosecutors may be open to negotiating a plea to a lesser charge if mitigating factors are present.  Examples of mitigating factors include:

  1. BAC less than .08.
  2. Officer's opinion of intoxication level is “slight” or “obvious.”
  3. Very cooperative attitude.
  4. Lack of poor driving.
  5. No accident.
  6. Lack of admissions of consuming alcohol or drugs
  7. Interim drinking or drug use.
  8. Difficulty proving the defendant was driving or satisfying corpus delecti.
  9. Susceptibility of evidence to suppression motions.

Pewitt Law Can Help with Your Charge. If you are being investigated or have been charged with a crime, Pewitt Law is here to represent your interests. As a seasoned criminal lawyer, Ms. Pewitt considers the whole picture, including what may happen after your case is over. She realizes this charge could impact your entire future and she will make your case a priority as she fights for the best possible result.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.