DUI Laws - Strict Enforcement

Gone are the days when people could talk their way out of a DUI arrest and be let go because they were only a few blocks from home. People are arrested and prosecuted for drunk driving in their own driveway. 

Washington is serious about punishing people who drink any amount of alcohol then drive. Even though it is not defined as a crime in our laws, you can be arrested and prosecuted if you consume even a small amount of alcohol, then drive.

DUI Consequences

Without A Great Defense, the Cards Are Stacked Against You.


The prosecution does not necessarily need to prove that the person gave a breath or blood sample above the legal limit; they only need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person’s driving was affected by an impairing substance.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officers in most agencies in Washington have the goal of pulling over three cars per hour. The primary purpose of this goal is to locate and arrest drivers who have been drinking. They will stop a vehicle for the slightest driving irregularity or minor equipment violation. Once they smell the odor of alcohol, an arrest is imminent, whether or not the driver performs the voluntary field sobriety tests. The officer has the power to search the vehicle upon arrest and, except sometimes in the case of a commercial or farm transport vehicle, must impound the vehicle, causing the driver to pay towing and impound fees to get their vehicle back.


DUI laws and the courts’ decisions regarding them are always evolving. If you need a DUI lawyer who creatively challenges the evidence against you, who understands the science and technology of breath and blood testing, and who has the experience to notice mistakes made by the police and prosecutors in DUI prosecutions, you need Callahan Law, P.S., Inc.

Learn More about DUI Defenses and Evidence

Washington State DUI Laws

(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state;

(a) And the person has, within 2 hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) The person has, within 2 hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or

(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.

If you are arrested for a DUI Washington State, and refuse the breath test, or take the test and blow over 0.08, or a blood analysis results in a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above, or a THC (marijuana) concentration of 5 ng or above, the Washington DOL is required to suspend (less than 1 year) or revoke (1 year or longer) your driver’s license administratively.

If you are 21 or older (limits differ for those younger and for commercial drivers) DOL will suspend your license if:

If either of these instances occurred, your license will be administratively suspended or revoked automatically (on the 60th day following your arrest) if you do not request an administrative hearing to contest the suspension or revocation. The length of an administrative suspension for an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above, or for 5 ng or higher of THC, is 90 days. Refusing to take a breath test will result in year-long administrative revocation. However, a second or subsequent incident with a refusal or a breath or blood result of 0.08 or higher within 7 years, will cause a 2-year administrative license revocation.

Keep in mind, the revocation period for those who refuse is always longer than for those who agree to breath testing. This administrative license suspension or revocation is completely separate from the criminal charge you may face.  These suspensions require the knowledge and exclusive strategies our DUI Lawyers employ for our clients every day.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving, give us a call today to discuss your case.

Call us directly at (253) 336-5576.

With Offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Shelton, we literally surround the Puget Sound.

  • Snohomish County
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  • Thurston County
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81 S. Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

1107 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma WA 98402

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Disclaimer: The legal information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee.  This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Washington.