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DUI in Washington State: What Happens

Everyone makes mistakes. In the bail industry, we see a lot of people at their lowest point. Our goal isn’t to judge you, but to help you, and one of the situations we see the most often is DUIs.

Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. The legal limit is currently .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), and lawmakers are considering further lowering it to .05 BAC. There are two ways for prosecutors to achieve a conviction in Washington. The first is to prove to a jury that the defendant had a BAC of .08 or higher within two hours of driving. This is called “per se prong” and is usually based on breathalyzer or blood tests taken either at the scene or back at the station.

The second option is the “affected by prong” prosecution, in which the prosecutor needs to actually prove that the defendant was impaired by alcohol. If your breathalyzer results are under .08 but the policemen have reason to believe you were still impaired, they can book and try you based on other evidence of your impairment. This is commonly done in cases where there has been an accident or damage due to negligent driving, when the person refuses to take a breath or blood test, or when the defense attorney manages to suppress the test results by proving to a judge that they are inadmissible.

The penalties and results of a DUI can be financially devastating. Your car will be impounded, and requires a $500 fine to retrieve it. Your legal fees and bail, and the potential loss of your driver’s license, all have a financial effect on you and your family. If you are assigned electronic home detention or an Ignition Interlock Device, you will need to finance it yourself. The consequences only get worse the more times you are convicted of a DUI. Here’s a look at a few:

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Sometimes, DUI suspects are granted Own Recognizance Release, meaning that they do not need to post a bail bond and are trusted to return to court for their trial. This is most often granted for non-accident DUIs to individuals with no criminal or DUI history and strong ties to the community. If you do have bail set, the amount can vary greatly based on the circumstances, but you will likely need to contact a bail agent using the phone numbers posted inside the jail. You can also contact a friend or family member who can then post your bail from the outside.

If you ever find yourself charged with a DUI, call us at All City Bail Bonds, where we deal with literally thousands of DUI defenders and can help expedite your release and get you back out and ready to work on your defense!