If you live in Vancouver, WA, and have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), it’s important to know the laws surrounding this offense. DUI laws can be complex, but understanding them can help you navigate the legal system and potentially avoid severe penalties.
What is DUI?
In Vancouver, WA, DUI is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%, and for those under 21 years of age, any amount of alcohol in the system while driving is illegal.
Penalties for DUI
If you are convicted of DUI in Vancouver, WA, the penalties can be severe. The specific penalties depend on a variety of factors, including your BAC level, whether you have any prior DUI convictions, and whether anyone was injured as a result of your actions. Some of the potential penalties for a first-time DUI conviction in Vancouver, WA, include:
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Up to 364 days in jail
- A driver’s license suspension of up to 90 days
- Mandatory attendance at a DUI victim’s panel
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
Subsequent DUI convictions carry even more severe penalties, including longer jail sentences and higher fines. It’s also worth noting that DUI convictions can have long-lasting effects on your life, including increased insurance rates, difficulty finding employment, and a tarnished reputation.
Defenses against DUI charges
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Vancouver, WA, it’s essential to remember that you have rights. There are several potential defenses against DUI charges, including challenging the legality of the traffic stop, questioning the accuracy of the BAC test, and arguing that your actions did not meet the legal definition of DUI. An experienced DUI attorney can help you evaluate your case and determine the best defense strategy.
Choosing a DUI attorney
When choosing a DUI attorney in Vancouver, WA, it’s essential to select someone with experience in this area of law. Look for an attorney who has handled many DUI cases and has a proven track record of success. It’s also important to find an attorney who is familiar with the local court system and has a good working relationship with judges and prosecutors.