Padula & Associates, LLC Washington Criminal Defense Attorneys, Bellevue - SeattleDUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call Now 425-883-3366

What Are Aggravating DUI Sentencing Factors in Washington State?

Posted Friday, March 30, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

Washington State has some of the toughest laws on DUI in the nation. And when a DUI involves certain “aggravating” circumstances, the penalties are even greater.

Aggravating DUI sentencing factors include:

• If a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle.

• The driver refused to submit to a blood or breath test.

• There was injury or property damage caused.

• The driver was under 21 years old.

• The driver has a Commercial Driver License (CDL) and was at the time driving a commercial vehicle.

If any of the above circumstances are present, then the penalties for DUI will be harsher. Also, harsher penalties can come as a result of higher Blood Alcohol Content and for prior DUI convictions.

Child Under 16 In the Vehicle

Under Washington State law, the law enforcement officer is required to make a “clear notation if a child under the age of sixteen was present in the vehicle” when an arrest for DUI or Physical Control of Vehicle Under the Influence is made. RCW 46.61.507. Law enforcement is also required to notify child protective services whenever a child is present in a vehicle being driven by his or her parent, guardian, legal custodian, or sibling and that person is being arrested for a drug or alcohol-related driving offense. However, the officer is not required to take custody of the child “unless there is no other responsible person” available to take care of the child. RCW 46.61.507(2).

When a DUI occurs with a passenger under 16 in the car, the Court shall order the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for at least 60 days if an IID is not mandatory. If an IID is mandatory, the Court shall order an additional 60 days of the IID requirement.

Defending Against DUI Charges

Between the license suspension, minimum penalties, and the long-term consequences of having a DUI on your record, you need to hire a fierce advocate to defend you against the State’s accusations. There are a number of ways to successfully defend against these charges, including the possibility of getting the charges dropped completely or reduced to lesser charges.

Most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely. Hiring our experienced DUI defense attorneys can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.