Washington State DUI

Seattle Municipal Code Provisions

Seattle DUI Penalties & Mandatory Minimum

SMC 11.56.025 Penalty for persons under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.

A. 1. A person who is convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020A or B who has no prior offence within seven (7) years and whose alcohol concentration was less than 0.15, or for any reason other than the person's refusal to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308 there is no test result indicating the person's alcohol concentration, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than twenty-four (24) consecutive hours nor more than one (1) year and by a fine of not less than Three Hundred Fifty Dollars ($350) and not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000). In lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment required under this subsection, the court may order not less than fifteen (15) days of electronic home monitoring.

2. A person who is convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020 A or B who has no prior offence within seven (7) years and whose alcohol concentration was 0.15 or more, or who refused to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two (2) consecutive days nor more than one (1) year and a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000). In lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment required under this subsection, the court may order not less than thirty (30) days of electronic home monitoring.

B. 1. A person who is convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020A or B who has one (1) prior offence within seven (7) years and whose alcohol concentration was less than 0.15, or for any reason other than the person's refusal to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308 there is no test result indicating the person's alcohol concentration, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) consecutive days nor more than one (1) year, sixty (60) days of electronic home monitoring, and a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000).

2. A person who is convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020 A or B who has one (1) prior offence within seven (7) years and whose alcohol concentration was 0.15 or more, or who refused to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than forty-five (45) consecutive days nor more than one (1) year, ninety (90) days of electronic home monitoring, and a fine of not less than Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars ($750) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000).

C. 1. A person who is convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020A or B who has two (2) or more prior offences within seven (7) years and whose alcohol concentration was less than 0.15, or for any reason other than the person's refusal to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308 there is no test result indicating the person's alcohol concentration, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ninety (90) consecutive days nor more than one (1) year, one hundred twenty (120) days of electronic home monitoring, and a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000).

2. A person who is convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020 A or B who has two (2) or more prior offences within seven (7) years and whose alcohol concentration was 0.15 or more, or who refused to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one hundred twenty (120) consecutive days nor more than one (1) year, one hundred fifty (150) days of electronic home monitoring, and a fine of not less than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000).

D. "Prior offence" and "within seven (7) years" have the same meaning as in RCW 46.61.5055.

E. If a person convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020 A or B committed the offence while a passenger under the age of sixteen (16) years was in the vehicle, the court shall order the use of an ignition interlock device under RCW 46.20.720 for not less than sixty (60) days following restoration of the person's license, permit or nonresident driving privilege or, in the case of a person for whom use of such a device is already required under RCW 46.20.720, order the use of such a device for an additional sixty (60) days.

F. For purposes of sentencing under this section, the judge shall determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, the number of prior offences within seven (7) years the person has, whether the person's alcohol concentration was less than 0.15 or 0.15 or more, whether the person refused to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308 or whether for any reason other than the person's refusal to take a test offered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308 there is no test result indicating the person's alcohol concentration and whether the person committed the offense while a passenger under the age of sixteen (16) years was in the vehicle. The prosecutor or the court may obtain an abstract of the person's driving record, which shall be prima facie evidence of the person's prior offenses.

G. Unless the judge finds the person to be indigent, the mandatory minimum fine shall not be suspended or deferred. Neither the mandatory minimum jail sentence nor the mandatory minimum period of electronic home monitoring shall be suspended or deferred unless the judge finds that the imposition of this sentence will pose a substantial risk to the defendant's physical or mental well-being. Whenever the mandatory minimum sentence is suspended or deferred, the judge must state, in writing, the reason for granting the suspension or deferral and the facts upon which the suspension or deferral is based. Whenever the court sentences an offender to a period of electronic home monitoring, the court may also require the offender's home electronic monitoring device to include an alcohol detection breathalyzer and may restrict the amount of alcohol the offender may consume during the period of electronic home monitoring. The cost of electronic home monitoring shall be paid for by the offender and determined by the City. In exercising its discretion is setting penalties within the limits allowed by this section, the court shall particularly consider whether the person's driving at the time of the offense was responsible for injury or damage to another or another's property, whether the person's license, permit or privilege to drive was suspended, revoked, denied or in probationary status at the time of the offense, whether the person was in compliance with Section 11.20.340 at the time of the offense and whether the person was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle with one (1) or more passengers at the time of the offense.

H. A person convicted of a violation of Subsection 11.56.020 A or B of this section is subject to the alcohol assessment and treatment provisions of RCW 46.61.5056.

I. In addition to any nonsuspendable and nondeferrable jail sentence required by this subsection, whenever the court imposes less than one (1) year in jail, the court shall also suspend but shall not defer a period of confinement for a period not exceeding five (5) years. The court shall impose conditions of probation that include: (1) not driving a motor vehicle within this state without a valid license to drive and proof of financial responsibility for the future; (2) not driving a motor vehicle within this state while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two (2) hours after driving; and (3) not refusing to submit to a test of his or her breath or blood to determine alcohol concentration upon request of a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. For each violation of mandatory conditions of probation (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, the court shall order the convicted person to be confined for thirty (30) days, which shall not be suspended or deferred. For each incident involving a violation of a mandatory condition of probation imposed under this subsection, the court shall suspend the person's license, permit or privilege to drive for thirty (30) days or, if the person's license, permit or privilege to drive already is suspended, revoked or denied at the time the finding of probation violation is made, then the suspension, revocation or denial then in effect shall be extended by thirty (30) days. The court shall notify the Washington State Department of Licensing of a person's violation of any mandatory condition of probation imposed under this subsection and the suspension of or extension of the suspension, revocation or denial of a person's license, permit or privilege to drive. The court may impose conditions of probation that include nonrepetition, installation of an ignition interlock device on the probationer's motor vehicle, alcohol or drug treatment, supervised probation, or other conditions that may be appropriate. The sentence may be imposed in whole or in part upon violation of a condition of probation during the suspension period.

J. In addition to the penalties set forth in this section, a fee of One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($125) shall be assessed to a person who is either convicted, sentenced to a lesser charge or given a deferred prosecution as a result of an arrest for violating Subsection 11.56.020 A or B, RCW 46.61.520 or RCW 46.61.522. Upon a verified petition by the person assessed the fee, the court may suspend payment of all or part of the fee if it finds that the person does not have the ability to pay. The fee shall be collected by the clerk of the court and distributed according to RCW 46.61.5054.

K. A court may waive the electronic home monitoring requirements of this section when (1) the offender does not have a dwelling, telephone service, or any other necessity to operate an electronic home monitoring system; (2) the offender does not reside in the State of Washington; or (3) the court determines that there is reason to believe that the offender would violate the conditions of the electronic home monitoring penalty. Whenever the mandatory minimum term of electronic home monitoring is waived, the court shall state in writing the reason for granting the waiver and the facts upon which the waiver is based, and shall impose an alternative sentence with similar punitive consequences. The alternative sentence may include, but is not limited to, additional jail time, work crew, or work camp. Whenever the combination of jail time and electronic home monitoring or alternative sentence would exceed three hundred sixty-five (365) days, the offender shall serve the jail portion of the sentence first, and the electronic home monitoring or alternative portion of the sentence shall be reduced so that the combination does not exceed three hundred sixty-five (365) days.


1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2388
Seattle, Washington 98154