First Offense Seattle DUI

Getting arrested for a DUI can be very scary, especially for those facing a first offense. It is extremely important to be fully informed about what is going to happen next, what you need to be prepared for, and what it is going to cost you.

The penalties and fees of a Seattle DUI are based on a tiered system, depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Assuming this is your first offense, the following penalties and fees will likely result.

1. Attorney Fees

Although this isn’t a penalty or fee that will be sentenced by the legal system, in a DUI case, this will likely be one of your largest expenses. Attorney fees will be dependent on the experience of the DUI attorney as well as the facts of the case. A standard first offense DUI typically costs between $4,000 and $7,500.

2. Bail

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit, you will be taken into custody. After being booked for a DUI, you will have the option to pay money to be released from custody. The cost of bail is determined by many factors including the suspects:

  • Criminal record
  • Threat to the community
  • Severity of the crime
  • Relationship with family, employment, and community
  • Likeliness of “skipping” trial and/or not appearing as required

You will be required to appear at a court hearing. If you do not appear, you will be subject to immediate arrest and your original bail will be forfeited.

3. Towing and Impound Fees

After a DUI arrest, the suspect’s car will be impounded for at least 12 hours. To recover your vehicle, you must first find and contact potential companies that may have your vehicle.

Once you have located your vehicle, you will need to inquire about when the vehicle will be released and for what cost. The cost of recovery of an impounded vehicle will vary by towing company.

4. DUI Fines

The fines associated with a DUI arrest will vary depending on the outcome of the case and whether probation requirements are imposed. The fines for a first offense DUI generally range from $1,500 to $3,000.

5. SR-22 Insurance

If your license is suspended either by the Department of Licensing or due to the DUI conviction, SR-22 insurance will be required for at least three years. SR-22 insurance is a certificate of insurance or financial responsibility. This certificate can be obtained through your insurance company, and the cost will vary depending on the individual’s past driving record, as well as which insurance company you use. The average cost of SR-22 is estimated at $600 to $1,000 a year.

6. Ignition Interlock Device Requirements

If your license is suspended, you will have the option to apply for an ignition interlock device (IID) license. Depending on whether you lose your license administratively by the DOL, or whether you lose your license as the result of a court conviction, an IID license may be required anywhere from 90 days to two years. The cost of an ignition interlock device in Seattle varies, but it typically ranges from  $100 to $150 per month, and it requires an installation fee.

If the device obtains a reading of over 0.02 or higher, you will need to have the device calibrated by the company that installed the device. This costs around $100. The estimated cost of having an IID is $500 to $2,500.

7. Alcohol and Drug Assessment and Treatment

If you are convicted of a DUI, the judge may require you to complete an alcohol and drug assessment and may require you to receive treatment. The cost of the assessment is typically around $150. For a first offense DUI, the treatment requirement is normally an 8-hour alcohol drug information class and a 2-hour victim impact panel class.

Contact Leyba Defense

A DUI is a serious charge in Seattle and can result in harsh penalties. Contacting an experienced DUI defense attorney can alleviate a lot of the stress and help put your mind at ease after the arrest. Matthew Leyba is a top DUI attorney in the Seattle and Bellevue areas. For a free 60-minute consultation, call Leyba Defense today at 206.504.3131 or fill out our contact form.


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“I finally feel like I can move on in my life, and thanks to you, I don't have a DUI conviction to worry about. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart.”

- former client found
not guilty of DUI