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Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is classified as a gross misdemeanor, which provides maximum penalties of 364 days of Jail and $5,000 fine.  In Washington however, should an individual be convicted of 5 DUIs in a 10 year period, the firth DUI becomes a felony with a minimum sentence of 22 months in Jail!  It gets very serious!

However, this is about to change.  On February 6th, 2016 the House in Washington State passed a Bill that makes a fourth DUI in 10 years a felony.  From experience, this means hundreds of individuals every year will face a felony charge and seriously harsh penalties.  Therefore, if you have been charged with your third DUI in seven years you must radically change your lifestyle or face even harsher penalties in court.

The new Bill proposes that a fourth DUI in 10 years be classified as a Class B Felony, rather than a Class C felony.  A Class C felony has a maximum of five years in prison (not County Jail) and a $10,000 fine.  A Class B Felony has a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

This new Bill still needs to be considered by the Senate and their decision will be documented on this page when it occurs. However, the world is changing and Washington State is leading the way when it comes to penalizing DUI drivers. Be aware and make serious changes accordingly.

Felony DUI proposal to make fourth DUI a Felony

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felony dui in Washington State about to Change

DUI Defense Lawyer Whatcom County | Law Firm of David N. Jolly


A Washington State DUI is a gross misdemeanor and heard in either District Court or Municipal Court. However, there are occasions when driving under the influence can be considered a felony. Currently in Washington a DUI will be classified a felony, and these are: 1) A fifth DUI conviction in 10 years or 2) A DUI following a conviction of vehicular homicide or assault while intoxicated.  This is about to change. House Bill 2280 proposes a change in classifying a DUI as a felony when an individual receives his/her fourth DUI in 10 years. This Bill still needs to be approved and passes by the Senate but the likelihood of this occurring is very high. Check back for updates following the Senate's review of this Bill in 2016.

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