Information on Washington DUI law and DWI Defense Lawyers

A DUI or DWI can have serious consequences on your future. A DUI or DWI defense lawyer can help protect your rights as you face these and related charges.

If you are being charged with a DWI or DUI or a related charge, you should consider hiring a DWI defense lawyer to represent your interests and protect your rights as your case moves forward through the legal system. Many people who have been charged with DWI or DUI have not faced criminal charges in the past, so some initial information may help make this process easier to understand.

The following information is provided by attorneys in Washington State based on Washington law, so it may serve as a helpful starting point for people that are interested in learning about DWI defense lawyers and DUI law in Washington. If you are being charged with DWI or DUI in a state other than Washington, you should consult a DUI or DWI defense lawyer that practices in that particular state, because the law differs greatly amongst states.

What do DWI and DUI stand for, and what is the difference between DWI and DUI?

• DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated, and DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. Both acronyms normally refer to crimes that involve driving some sort of vehicle after consuming some amount of alcohol or drug that can affect mental state. In some states, these are considered different crimes. In Washington, adult (over 21) drunk or drugged driving charges fall under RCW (Revised Code of Washington) 46.61.502 - ‘Driving Under the Influence.’ The DWI acronym is not used in Washington statutes, though many people still use DUI and DWI interchangeably in conversation. If you are searching for a DWI defense lawyer in Washington, it may aid your search to use DUI instead of DWI.

What constitutes ‘Driving under the influence’ in Washington?

• There are three ways to be guilty of ‘driving while under the influence’ under RCW 46.61.502. A person must drive a vehicle within the state and either (1) have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater within two hours after driving; (2) be “under the influence of” or “affected by” alcohol or any drug; or (3) be under the influence of or affected by both alcohol and any drug. This means that you can be charged with DUI in Washington even if you do not register above a 0.08 on a breath or blood test. The state can still charge you if there is evidence that you were “under the influence of or affected by” alcohol or drugs. Our attorneys have seen many DUIs charged in which the breath test results were below 0.08.

o Remember that this information is only a brief introduction to the law surrounding DUIs in Washington. We recommend contacting a DUI or DWI defense lawyer if you need comprehensive information or if you are facing a DUI or related charge.

What if you are under 21 years of age?

• Washington law is stricter on minors when it comes to driving after consuming alcohol or drugs. Minors may still be charged under the DUI statute listed above, but they are also subject to RCW 46.61.503. This statute makes it a crime for a minor to operate or be in physical control of a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater (as shown by a test within two hours after operating or being in physical control). For more information on the DUI laws for minors in Washington, contact a Washington DUI or DWI defense lawyer.

We hope this article has provided some useful introductory information regarding DUIs and some of the related charges that DUI and DWI defense lawyers in Washington deal with. This is a complex area of the law, so you should not rely only on the information provided in this article. If you have questions regarding Washington DUI laws, or Washington DUI or DWI defense lawyers, you should consult a legal professional.

The attorneys of Findley & Rogers, PLLC are experienced in defending DUIs and related charges. If you are being charged with DUI or a related criminal traffic violation, contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

-Every case is different, Findley & Rogers, PLLC can make no guarantees about the outcome of a case, and nothing in this article is intended to be a comment on the abilities of any particular attorney.

Contact us today to discuss your case.

Phone: 206-331-7377

Fax: 206-486-9930