Legal Limits in Washington State

What happens when you get a DUI in Washington State

Driving under the influence is a serious offense, with lasting consequences. In Washington State, the penalties issued for a DUI offender widely vary, but it is likely that both administrative and criminal penalties will be issued. This can include Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM), a 90-day treatment program, installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IIDs), and more. In every DUI judgment, your license will be suspended for a period of 90 days or more.

How is Driving Under the Influence Determined?

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, driving under the influence is defined as operating a vehicle while affected by alcohol or drugs. This also applies to prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter drugs that may impair your ability to drive.

"A driver may be charged with a DUI if:

The results of a breath or blood test show the amount of alcohol in the driver's blood to be:

  • .08 or higher for adults (21 and over).        
  • .04 or higher for commercial vehicle drivers (CDL disqualifications)
  • .02 or higher for minors (under 21)


  • He or she is found to be driving a vehicle under the influence or affected by alcohol, any drug, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, regardless of the concentration of alcohol in their breath or blood.

Starting August 1, 2012, the definition of a drug also includes any chemical inhaled or ingested for its
intoxicating or hallucinatory effects."

How do I get back on the road again?

When your license has been suspended, you must obtain proof of financial responsibility to drive again. This is most commonly achieved through purchasing SR-22 insurance. This insurance proves that you have the means to pay for any damages that could be incurred while operating a vehicle. The Washington state Department of Licensing (DOL) may require that you keep valid auto-liability insurance for an extended period of time. In most cases, you will need to be able to show proof of financial responsibility for three years after the date that you are eligible to reinstate your license. Your insurance company must fill out the SR-22 form and then send it into the DOL as proof of coverage, on your behalf. Please keep in mind that an approved insurance company must complete the SR-22 forms. If you are unsure that your agent or company has a valid license (and is approved in Washington State), you can use the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s online tool to verify.

For more Information on SR22 Insurance or to receive a free, No-Obligation quote, call us TODAY at 866.822.7755 and we will help you find affordable insurance. 


  • DOL Washington Website
  • Office of the Insurance Commissioner WA State Website
  • AIPSO Website

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