Washington State DUI/Traffic FAQs


  1. 1
    What do I do if I am pulled over and arrested for DUI?

    If you are pulled over for DUI, don’t plead guilty to drunk driving without talking to a DUI lawyer! Do not give a statement to the police without a lawyer present; however, you will need to provide your name and driver’s license and insurance information. Among other things, a good DUI lawyer will look for ways to discredit a breathalyzer and field sobriety test.

  2. 2
    I was arrested for DUI. Will my license be suspended?

    The only way to avoid a suspended license after a DUI arrest is to request a hearing to contest the suspension. The request must be submitted within 20 days of your arrest and you must convince the hearing examiner to rule in your favor. It is important to hire a skilled DUI attorney for your hearing for the best chance of avoiding a license suspension. If you fail to request a hearing or the hearing examiner doesn’t decide in your favor, your license will be suspended for 90 days to two years, depending on prior offenses and the severity of the incident. Your suspension will begin 60 days from the date of your arrest.

    Note: Even if the hearing examiner decides in your favor, your driver’s license will still be suspended if the court convicts you of DUI. A hearing decision in your favor applies only to the suspension resulting from the arrest.

  3. 3
    I was convicted of DUI in court. Will my license be suspended?

    Your license may be suspended for 90 days to four years depending on any prior offenses on your record and the severity of the current incident. The suspension will begin 45 days after the Department of Licensing (DOL) receives notice from the court showing you were convicted. Credit will be given for any suspension days already served from your arrest.

  4. 4
    Can I get a restricted license during my suspension?

    IDuring license suspension, you are entitled to get an Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL). This device will allow you to drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for the period of your license suspension or revocation.

  5. 5
    How do I get my license back after a suspension?

    The ability to reinstate your license after a suspension will depend on several factors including your blood alcohol content and whether you were involved in any previous DUI incidents. Use this link to learn how to reinstate your driver’s license.

  6. 6
    I’m licensed in a state other than Washington but I was cited for DUI in Washington State. What happens now?

    The Washington DOL will record the DUI citation in your Washington State driving record and suspend or revoke your driving privilege in this state. A copy of the citation will be forwarded to the state where you are licensed.

  7. 7
    What are the maximum penalties for a first offense DUI in Washington State?
      • One or two day minimum up to 364 days maximum in jail. Fifteen to 30 days of electronic home monitoring can be requested instead of minimum jail.
      • Fines, costs, and assessments ranging between $940.50 and $8,845.50.
      • Minimum 90 day license suspension up to a two year license revocation.
      • SR22 insurance requirement upon reinstatement.
      • Ignition interlock (IID) requirement for at least one year following license reinstatement.
      • Up to 60 months probation.
      • Order to participate in an alcohol treatment program.
      • Participation in a victim impact panel.
  8. 8
    Does a prior conviction for another charge count as a prior offense?

    A conviction for Negligent Driving First Degree, Reckless Driving, or Reckless Endangerment, which was originally charged as a DUI, will count as a prior offense if the arrest was within seven years of your current arrest. A prior Deferred Prosecution for DUI or physical control, a conviction for Felony DUI, Vehicular Assault, or Vehicular Homicide, within seven years, will also count as a prior offense. A prior DUI within the last seven years from another state could also count as a prior offense if the prosecutor pulls your criminal record for that state or if you admitted to having a prior driving offense.

  9. 9
    Will a DUI ever come off my record?

    AOnce you have been convicted of a DUI it will remain on your record permanently which is why it is so critical to hire an experienced DUI attorney to try and prevent a DUI conviction.

  10. 10
    The court reduced the charge from DUI to Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving. Will my driving record show the reduced charge?

    Yes, your record will show the reduced charge but any license suspension, revocation, or disqualification won’t be reduced or changed.

Traffic FAQs

  1. 1
    What are Washington driving record points?

    In Washington State, every time you receive a traffic ticket, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records the violation on your driving record and adds points. Keep track of how many tickets you have received as you risk a driver’s license suspension if you commit too many moving violations within a 12 month period. Moving violations include speeding, running a stop sign or red light, reckless driving, and more.

  2. 2
    What is the easiest way to reduce driving record points or dismiss my traffic violation?

    If you have received a traffic ticket in Washington, attending a Washington State approved traffic school can be a way to dismiss your traffic ticket and drop points from your driving record. Talk to an experienced traffic attorney to discuss your options.

  3. 3
    I received a traffic citation. How do I determine my ticket fines?

    The citation will list any fines, payment options, the date of your infraction, and whether you need to appear in court. In some cases, your citation will provide information on how to contest the ticket. Washington traffic ticket fines vary by jurisdiction.

    Note that you are also likely to be charged various assessment fees that usually exceed the fine amount. In addition, the more traffic violations on your record the higher your car insurance rates will be.

  4. 4
    Will I face a license suspension?

    You may face having your Washington driver’s license suspended or revoked depending on the severity of the infraction and past driving history. A license suspension is a temporary loss of your driving privileges while a license revocation is a termination of your Washington driver’s license. A revocation requires that you re-apply for a new license once the revocation period has ended.

    You could lose driving privileges if convicted of any of the following single violations:

        • Attempting to elude a police vehicle
        • Reckless driving
        • Racing, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide
        • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
        • Leaving the scene of an accident in which you were involved, without first identifying yourself
        • Being involved in an accident and not having car insurance
  5. 5
    What is Washington States’ Problem Driver?

    If you violate too many traffic laws, you risk being labeled by the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) as a “problem driver.” Problem drivers may be doled a variety of penalties including:

        • A suspension, revocation, or cancellation of your driver’s license
        • Fees from the Washington DOL and/or court
        • License reinstatement fees
        • Requirements to complete driver improvement/defensive driving courses
        • Restrictions on driving privileges
        • Higher rates for car insurance
  6. 6
    I am underage. Are traffic rules different for me?

    If you are younger than 17 years old and are convicted of an alcohol or drug violation, your license will be revoked for one year or until you turn 17 years old.