A Seattle DUI is no laughing matter. Washington State has some of the harshest DUI penalties in the country, and the Seattle Police Department is extremely aggressive when it comes to tracking down impaired drivers. If you have already been charged with DUI, you'll need a good Seattle DUI attorney to fight on your behalf, but if you haven't received a DUI, you will want to be proactive in ensure it stays that way.
Here are just some of the mandatory consequences you will face for your first DUI conviction.
- At least 24 hours of incarceration
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device
- Alcohol/drug evaluation and all recommended treatment
- At least $1000 in fines/fees/assessments
- High Risk (SR22) Insurance
And remember, this is just for the first offense. Subsequent DUI convictions carry much steeper consequences. And even if you aren't convicted, you will still have your vehicle impounded and may face a license suspension under Washington's implied consent law.
So how can you that you never receive a DUI in Seattle? The important thing is to follow safe drinking practices. Here are some basic tips for ensuring that you don't become a casualty of Seattle's legal system:
- Use a designated driver. This may seem like common sense, but it can literally be a life saver. It's always worth emphasizing that you should never get behind the wheel if you're impaired. The best advice is to ensure you never get a Seattle DUI is to never get behind the wheel after you have consumed alcohol.
- Know your limits. It's not always easy to assess your level of inebriation based on how you feel. The University of Oklahoma Police Department has a useful Blood Alcohol Content Calculator that you can use to estimate your own blood alcohol level. Every body is different, though, so take the results with a grain of salt and never drive if you feel even slightly impaired. Remember, the legal limit is .08 for adults over age 21.
- Follow the rules of the road. Even if you haven't been drinking excessively, you don't want to draw any unnecessary suspicion. Ignoring traffic signs, exceeding the speed limit, weaving in and out of traffic...these are all things that will catch the attention of law enforcement. The most obvious way to avoid DUI is not to get pulled over at all, especially in the evenings when cops are especially on the lookout for drunk drivers.
- Make your holiday plans in advance. Certain days of the year, like July 4th, New Years Eve and St. Patrick's Day, are heavy drinking days, when DUI arrests skyrocket. Seattle is known for increasing law enforcement for coordinated and concentrated DUI enforcement. If you plan to drink, consider using public transportation, cabs, town cars or just make plans to spend the night at a friend's home or at hotel. Whatever the costs are for the inconveience of transportation home and retrieval of your vehicle later are minimal compared to the thousands you will pay for a Seattle DUI charge.
Remember, DUI isn't just a legal issue. It's about your personal safety and the safety of others. Drink responsibly and spare yourself the risks. We realize, though, that sometimes things happen, and if you have already been charged with a DUI, you are going to need a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer on your side. At Wolff Defense, we know DUI, and we have been working with people just like you for years. Give us a call to discuss your case.