August 31, 2015 Even a single DUI conviction could result in thousands of dollars in fees and years of additional consequences. This has many drivers wondering exactly what the laws are regarding DUIs and how they can lower their sentence or have the case thrown out entirely. For these drivers, here is a look at the legal distinctions between drunk driving and buzzed driving and the penalties for each. Understanding the Laws Currently, the law states that drivers over the age of 21 cannot be tested with a .08 BAC or higher. This amount changes drastically between every single driver depending on variables such as their gender, weight, height, and even what type of alcohol they have been drinking. Because of these extenuating circumstances, an officer can legally arrest a driver for a DUI no matter what BAC they are tested with if they believe that alcohol is affecting their reaction times and cognitive abilities. This includes those that are driving slightly buzzed. DUI Penalties The penalties for a DUI change between every single state. For a first-time offender in Washington, a driver can expect a minimum license suspension of 90 days with judges having the option to increase the suspension to a year or longer. Some of the expenses that a driver can expect include court fees, official fines, DMV fees for reinstating a license, impound fees, and an increase in one’s insurance premiums once they are able to drive again. The judge may also order that an ignition interlock device is installed in the vehicle with the driver paying for the installation and maintenance. Over the next few years, drivers can look forward to paying thousands of dollars in total for their DUI. Having Your Sentence Reduced A driver has a number of options to reduce the sentence or remove the charge completely, but this process will require an attorney that has experience with DUIs. As long as there were no injuries and a child was not in the vehicle, the driver may be able to avoid lengthy license suspensions or even time in jail if they agree to other penalties such as the installation of an ignition interlock device while going to AA meetings. For those that have been arrested for any alcohol-related crimes, it is important to contact an attorney immediately to begin building one’s defense while avoiding lifelong consequences. Contact Lennard Nahajski if you need help with a DUI/DWI defense lawyer.