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Drinking and Driving

Drinking and Driving

Washington has some of the toughest drinking and driving laws in the country. The “Implied Consent Law” states that the fact you are drinking implies you agree to take a breath analysis test if stopped. Your first offense carries a minimum sentence of a day in jail plus a $350 fine and the loss of your driver’s license for 90 days. A second conviction carries a minimum sentence of up to a week in jail, plus a fine and the loss of your driver’s license for one year. In addition, you will have to attend a mandatory drug and alcohol course and mandatory evaluation course. If you add the court costs together with the court-imposed penalties and the costs of the mandatory courses, you see it doesn’t pay to drink and drive. Any DUI conviction will also lead to suspension of base driving privileges.

The blood alcohol limit in Washington is 0.08. For the average-sized person, that’s equal to drinking two or three drinks in two hours. On-station security police will cite an individual whose driving appears impaired regardless of the individual’s blood alcohol level. A law that became effective Sept. 1, 1995, states that any person under the age of 21 found driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 will be considered driving under the influence (DUI). A BAC of 0.02 is registered after only one drink. Military members who are found driving under the influence on base shall have the offense reported to the state in which they hold a driver’s license. This is mandatory reporting through the Department of Licensing and will subsequently suspend the member’s license. All aforementioned minimum sentences remain in effect.


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