Prescription Drug DUI in Tacoma, Washington

The State of Washington has strict laws against driving while under the influence of intoxicating substances, including prescription drugs. A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction in Tacoma can be personally, financially and professionally devastating.

Charges of DUI of prescription drugs warrant a vigorous defense from a law firm that treats clients with the dignity and respect they deserve. A well-documented and well-researched defense may help spare a driver from penalties that include everything from steep fines to jail time.

We respect how stressful and frightening it can be for a person who has been arrested for DUI. However, you do not have to go through this alone – you have the right to hire a defense attorney. Below, we have outlined some of the most common questions we hear from clients with cases similar to your own.

Can I be arrested or convicted of DUI for taking prescription drugs?

The state’s DUI laws are established via the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.502. The law does not limit DUI to alcohol. In fact, the law states a person is guilty of driving while under the influence if he or she has been found to be driving in the state while “under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug.”

Further, the law states that a person’s legal right to take the drug does not preclude him or her from being charged while driving under the influence of the drug. For instance, you may be arrested for DUI if you are found to be driving while impaired by a prescription pain reliever, such as Oxycontin, even if you carry a prescription for the drug.

What happens if I am arrested for DUI for prescription drug use?

Your driver’s license will be suspended by the Department of Licensing unless you take quick action after your arrest. State law provides you just 20 days from your arrest to request a hearing to contest the suspension. A favorable hearing with a hearing examiner may prevent suspension of your license.

Failure to request a hearing – or an unfavorable decision – may result in a driver’s license suspension of anywhere from 90 days to two years. The duration of the suspension depends on whether you have any previous offenses and the circumstances of your arrest. The period of suspension begins 60 days from your arrest.

What are the criminal penalties for conviction of prescription drug DUI?

The criminal penalties for the conviction of a DUI involving prescription drugs vary with the severity of the offense and your previous record. Penalties may include:

  • jail time of anywhere from 24 hours to 364 days;
  • fines of $940.50 to more than $10,000; and
  • license suspension or revocation.

Other penalties may apply, depending on whether minors were in the vehicle at the time of your arrest or whether anyone was injured in a DUI crash. The criminal courts use the “DUI sentencing grid” – established by RCW 46.61.5055 – as a means of determining minimum and maximum penalties in a DUI. Your defense attorney can advise you on the potential punishment you face with a DUI conviction.

I want help fighting my DUI charges. Who should I contact?

You have the right to hire a DUI defense attorney in Tacoma. Schedule a case consultation with attorney Daryl Graves at no charge to learn more about your options. Call (253) 383-7777.

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Daryl Graves Law, PLLC practices primarily in the areas of criminal defense law and personal injury. If you are seeking representation in one of these, or simply have a question that you would like to ask an attorney, feel free to call Daryl Graves Law, PLLC at 253-383-7777 or complete the form below.

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