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What Does Driving Drunk Mean In Washington?

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Dec 09, 2013 | 0 Comments

You read a lot about DUIs in Washington. In fact, you may assume that every drunk driver arrested tested for a blood alcohol level above 0.08 percent. However, while testing for a blood alcohol level above 0.08 is one way to be considered impaired, you should know that the state uses several other standards as well.

Drunk Driving for Adults

For adults 21 years of age or older, there are three general ways you may be considered legally driving drunk:

  1. 0.08 Percent. If your blood alcohol level is above this amount, you will automatically be considered driving drunk.
  2. Commercial Drivers. Drivers of commercial vehicles face more stringent standards. Someone who holds such a license may be considered drunk if he or she has a blood alcohol level above 0.04 percent. The rationale is that commercial vehicles may be more dangerous to drive and a driver should be under as little influence of alcohol as possible.
  3. Impaired. The catch-all provision under Washington DUI law is that anyone can be arrested for drunk driving regardless of how much alcohol they consume so long as their driving is impaired. So even if your blood alcohol level is 0.01 percent, you could still be arrested for a DUI.

Drunk Driving for Minors

Minors under the age of 21 face different drunk driving standards. Generally, a minor will automatically be considered impaired if he or she has a blood alcohol level above 0.02 percent. In addition, the general rule regarding impairment also applies. So if a minor has a blood alcohol level below 0.02 percent, the minor can be charged with drunk driving if impaired by alcohol.

Contact a Seattle DUI Attorney

A drunk driving charge is a very serious charge in Washington. You will want to work with an attorney who can review the facts of your case and work on your defense. To discuss your case with an experienced advocate, contact the legal counsel at Wolff Criminal Defense by calling 425-284-2000.

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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