DUI in Washington is typically a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail (365 days) and a $5000 fine. A DUI conviction carries mandatory minimums for jail time, fines and license suspensions, which vary depending on an individual’s recent criminal history, BAC or Blood Results (or refusal to take the tests) and other factors. In some instances, DUI may also be charged and punished as a felony, such as a person having a large number of recent DUI convictions.
In addition to the criminal sanctions for a DUI conviction are the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) sanctions. These include license suspensions separate from those from the criminal court, requirement of high risk insurance (often SR-22 insurance) and the requirement to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in a vehicle for anywhere between 90 days and several years.
At Ashbach Law Offices, we use our experience, knowledge and analytical skills to aggressively represent our clients charged with DUI offenses. We practice regularly in courts in Snohomish County and Skagit County, as well as King and Whatcom Counties.
Minor DUI and Minor Physical Control are Simple Misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine. Often called “Baby DUI,” this charge is not technically a DUI charge in that it does not count as a “prior offense” for subsequent DUI allegations. However, a conviction can carry harsh consequences both inside and outside the court system. If you, or your family member, need help, contact our office today to learn what we can do.
Minor DUI – Alcohol and THC levels
Minor DUI is the operation of a motor vehicle, of physical control of a motor vehicle, by a person under the age of 21 while having a BAC of above a .02, or a THC level above a .00 within two hours of driving. If a minor has a BAC above a .08, or a THC level above 5 ng/mL, typically that minor would be charged with a full-scale DUI or Physical Control offense.
In addition to normal defenses, such as necessity, alibi and general denial, is the affirmative defense that the minor consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol or marijuana after the driving, but before the administration of the breath or blood test that resulted in alcohol or TCH levels to be above .02 or 5ng/mL, respectively. The defense must give the prosecution advance notice of this defense, and a person charged must prove subsequent ingestion by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
For Minor Physical Control, the “safely off the roadway” defense applies, which is covered more in depth in the “Physical Control” section of this website.
If a juvenile offered a diversion for a Minor DUI or Minor Physical control, presumably no conviction will follow, assuming the juvenile complies with set conditions. However, the juvenile’s school will be notified, as will department of licensing. If a minor under the age of 18 enters a diversion contract, DOL will also be notified.
A minor between age 13 and 17 will have his or her license suspended based upon a conviction, or entry into a diversion contract as it is an alcohol offense. Otherwise, there is no mandatory license suspension.
Independent of the criminal court action against a minor charged with DUI is an administrative suspension, subject to a Department of Licensing hearing. This is not based upon a conviction, but simply upon the arrest for a Minor DUI or Minor Physical Control charge. The request for a DOL hearing must be made within 20 days of an arrest, otherwise the right to contest a license suspension or revocation is forfeited.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients charged with Minor Driving under the Influence (Minor DUI) offenses throughout the Washington I-5 corridor, covering Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Regular courts of practice include, but are not limited to, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.