As in most U.S. states, like in Washington, the act of driving under the influence is considered a gross misdemeanor that carries significant penalties that may include license suspension, hefty fines, and jail time. No matter how you see it,
Keep reading this article to know the importance of knowing Washington state DUI laws.
Washington DUI Laws: An Overview
As mentioned, a DUI charge in Washington is considered a gross misdemeanor, which means that anyone caught engaging in this act might have to face serious punishment. However, this isn’t as simple as it is. The Washington state DUI laws are composed of three relevant statutes used in charging violators. These can include:
Driving Under The Influence Statute
Under Washington DUI statute RCW 46.61.502, any person can be guilty of driving under the influence offense if they’re behind the wheels while intoxicated with drugs or liquor, or a combination thereof, and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher within two hours of operating a vehicle.
Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol
Under DUI statute RCW 46.61.503, any person can be guilty of DUI if they’re in actual physical control of the motor vehicle, under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug, or a combination thereof, under the age of 21, and have a BAC ranging from .02 to .08.
Physical Control Of Vehicle Under The Influence
As per the Washington DUI statute RCW 46.61.504, any person can be convicted of DUI if it’s proven that they had actual physical control of a vehicle and have a BAC of .08 or higher within two hours after driving and while intoxicated with liquor or drug, or a combination thereof.
Washington DUI Laws: Importance Of Knowing What They Entail
Now that you know the common statutes in Washington, it’s time to know why you should bother familiarizing yourself with them in the first place.
Below are some of the reasons:
Again, driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense in Washington. If you’re caught doing such a misdemeanor, you probably have to face life-changing legal consequences, such as fines, prison time, license suspension, and, in extreme cases, revocation. However, a defense that you’re unaware of the laws is unacceptable. No matter how harsh and stringent they are, knowing and understanding the DUI laws is mandatory for every motor vehicle driver. That way, you have no reason to violate the law and easily get out of it afterward. Moreover, the mandatory understanding of the laws can ensure that you’ll prevent yourself from committing a DUI offense.
Keeps You Out Of Trouble
No matter how challenging it is, you should always be a law-abiding citizen. By becoming one, you’ll be free from any legal troubles and can make sure that you live a peaceful life. That said, you should find time to understand and follow the DUI laws in Washington. When you keep a clean record of yourself, you can easily find a job and you’ll never need to experience discrimination and bias judgments from other people around you.
However, when you’re charged with driving under the influence, you might have a higher chance of getting yourself convicted, and your license suspended or revoked. Not only that, but you might also be discriminated in terms of employment due to your criminal record.
Allows You To Save Your And Other People’s Lives
Like other criminal laws, the Washington DUI laws are there to remind you that there are other people in this world. For example, when you’re driving a vehicle while intoxicated with drugs or liquor, you might get involved in an accident with other car drivers and endanger the lives of all people involved.
Thus, it’s important to learn about the DUI laws in Washington before maneuvering your vehicle. By doing so, you’ll know how to avoid car accidents and protect yourself and others from danger.
You Have The Right To Be Educated About The Laws Imposed In The Constitution
Every citizen of the Washington state has the right to proper information and education about the laws that govern their acts and behaviors. For instance, these laws are made available to the public to ensure everyone is updated with the state’s mandates. After all, it’s your right to exercise your freedom to be aware of the rules and regulations about operating a motor vehicle.
Moreover, when you know that DUI is a criminal offense, you can better understand that driving while intoxicated with drugs or liquor can put you to jail and subject yourself to other severe legal consequences. Thus, make sure you give yourself the time to be informed of the laws and use them to your advantage.
Hiring A DUI Lawyer
Indeed, laws for DUI in the Washington state are complex and complicated. Even a small mistake in the arrest procedure can change your life forever. And, depending on the circumstances and other related factors of your arrest, you might face serious criminal and administrative penalties.
Hence, if you want to navigate your situation properly, you should hire a lawyer to help you handle your case. Typically, a reputable lawyer can analyze your case’s circumstances and form a strong defense strategy to ensure a winning judgment in your favor.
Also, by working with them, you have better chances of minimizing or overturning your sentence. They’ll represent on your behalf and vouch to protect your rights throughout the proceeding.
Knowing the DUI laws in Washington comes with a lot of benefits. Besides exercising your right to information and education, you can also avoid any possible risks that you might get into when you’re caught driving under the influence.
Therefore, if you don’t want to waste your life for violating a law that can be prevented in the first place, keep these points in mind to ensure that your and others’ lives are protected on the road.