How Will My Life Be Affected by a DUI Arrest in Seattle?

Lewis & Laws, PLLC is backed by more than four decades of combined experience, a quality that you cannot find at all defense law firms.

  • Home
  • Blog
  • How Will My Life Be Affected by a DUI Arrest in Seattle?

Get a FREE case review now.

We are available 24/7 to take your call. (206) 209-0608

Oct 12

Lewis & Laws

How Will My Life Be Affected by a DUI Arrest in Seattle?

by Lewis & Laws

How Will My Life Be Affected by a DUI Arrest in Seattle?

While most people understand that being arrested on charges of DUI would not be a good thing, few truly understand just how much—and for how long—such an arrest can affect their life. Although DUI arrests are the most common criminal offense in the United States, until it actually happens to you, it is unlikely you have ever really considered the consequences of a DUI. In fact, the majority of those arrested for DUI are otherwise good people—conscientious drivers with clean records. Yet those convicted of DUI will face harsh criminal and administrative penalties in the state of Washington.

Legal Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Seattle

In the state of Washington, if you are over the age of 21 and your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or higher, you can be arrested for DUI. If you have a commercial driver’s license, that number drops by half to 0.04 percent, and if you are younger than 21, a BAC of 0.02 percent can get you arrested for DUI. Your exact BAC level will, to some extent, determine how severe your penalties will be. Being arrested and charged with DUI will immediately result in a suspension of your driver’s license. This suspension can be from 90 days to two years, and will start 60 days after your arrest. You have only 20 days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing for this suspension. 

If you are cleared of DUI charges in the administrative hearing, your license will not be suspended, however, this is an entirely separate issue from your criminal DUI charges. Assuming you have no prior DUI convictions within the past seven years, if you are convicted of DUI, you could face a 90-day license suspension and up to 364 days in jail. You could also face fines as large as $5,000. If your BAC was 0.15 percent or higher, or if you refuse a chemical test, your license could be suspended for 1-2 years.  (One year for the BAC and 2 years for refusing a chemical test). You could also be required to attend a Victim Impact or Treatment program, and/or an Alcohol and Drug Education program.

Should you need to drive during the period when your license is suspended, you must apply for an ignition interlock driver's license. If approved, you will have the ignition interlock device installed, and must provide proof of financial responsibility through an SR-22 insurance form. Aside from the legal penalties, you will face following a DUI conviction, there are additional consequences you could face as well, both short and long-term. These consequences include:

  • Your DUI will be reported to your insurance company. Afterward, your insurance premiums are likely to skyrocket, becoming unaffordable in some instances.
  • You may be ordered to perform court-mandated community service. 
  • If your driver's license is suspended, you could lose the freedom to drive your car to work, to school, and to run errands. Without a license, you could even lose your job if you are unable to get to work without driving.
  • Both felony and misdemeanor DUI convictions will appear in a background check, preventing you from obtaining employment, or causing you to lose your current job. A college financial aid application, college admission process, and even a housing application can also trigger a background check.
  • Even if you are not actually convicted of a DUI, your professional relationships could suffer. Simply being arrested and charged with DUI can adversely affect the manner in which your employer and your co-workers perceive you. DUIs are typically reported in the newspaper, so if you live in a smaller town, it is likely those at work will know about your arrest.
  • Personal relationships can also suffer after a DUI arrest and/or conviction. You can experience both embarrassment and shame when your friends and family members find out about your arrest. 

To minimize the consequences of a DUI arrest, it is extremely important that you contact a Washington DUI attorney who can help you work toward a better outcome. 

Have you or someone you love been arrested and charged with a DUI? Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Lewis & Laws.

If you have been charged with a DUI, speak to an experienced Seattle DUI defense attorney at Lewis & Laws, PLLC as soon as possible. Our attorneys have represented individuals in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, and throughout the state of Washington after they’ve been arrested and charged with DUI. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form to get more information or to get a free case review!

Get answers

Should I plead guilty?

Once you plead guilty to a charge, you cannot change your plea afterwards, so it always advised that you talk with a criminal defense attorney at our firm before you do this. Pleading guilty means that you are admitting your conduct is punishable by the law and you know...

Why do I need a lawyer?

A criminal charge means that you could face sanctions including jail times, fines, probation, potential loss of your driver's license and other penalties. A skilled criminal defense attorney can guide you through the court process and advocate your position in order...

June 10, 2019

Woman Strikes Trooper's Car on I-5, Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

After striking a Washington State Patrol trooper's car on I-5 near Everett, a woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Both were fortunate they did not become another statistic to add to the...

May 20, 2019

Multiple DUIs in Seattle

You may know what happens when you are charged with a DUI in Seattle, but do you know the penalties for being charged with a DUI more than once? With the level of penalties you could face...