DUI vs DWI in Washington State

Posted by Keith Hall | Nov 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

Is There A Difference Between DWI and DUI in Washington?

The letters DWI mean driving while intoxicated and DUI means driving under the influence. In some states, DWI and DUI are distinctly different offenses. These states limit the definition of DWI to impaired driving due to alcohol intoxication. DUI represents a less-severe offense, used not only for alcohol-impaired driving, but also for individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs regardless of the level of impairment. The laws in Washington do not make a distinction between DWI and DUI. In addition, if you face either of these charges, you should seek representation from a good DUI defense attorney who can help you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

Although most people simply use the terms DWI, DUI and drunk driving interchangeably, Washington law refers to it as DUI, and even an arrest alone results in a 90-day driver license suspension, if you do not take action to contest it. You can potentially obtain an Ignition Interlock Driver License to retain restricted driving privileges during the period of suspension. However, even if the court reduces or dismisses the charges, you still must continue to serve the period of suspension.

Conviction for Washington DUI carries stiff sentences. Whether you plead guilty or if the court finds you guilty, the penalties include the following:

  • An additional driver's license suspension

  • Fines up to $5,000 & court costs

  • Mandatory minimum jail sentences (Up to 364 days in jail)

  • Electronic home monitoring

  • A requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle

If you face DUI charges in Washington, Newton & Hall, Attorneys at Law, PLLC can help. Our knowledgeable attorney can question the evidence, examine police procedures and fight to dismiss or reduce the charges you face.

About the Author

Keith Hall

Keith is our firm's lead criminal defense attorney.

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