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  • Writer's pictureKarlie Valdez, JD

The legal limit for DUI in Bellevue is still .08

The legal limit for driving under the influence in Washington is still .08 BAC. Senator John Lovick was hoping Washington would follow in Utah's footsteps and lower the limit to .05. However, the bill failed to leave the Senate floor in time for the deadline of March 8, 2023. Stricter blood alcohol limit fails to pass WA state Senate - MyNorthwest.com


The bill left Bellevue DUI lawyers with so many questions. Had it passed would we have seen a drop in fatal vehicle collisions? There is some published evidence that lowering the BAC would result in fewer collisions but not a large body of published evidence on this topic. HIR-2022-06-SB5002_0.pdf (wa.gov) Would we see more arrests for DUI or fewer? The assumption was that lowering it would not have affected enforcement of DUI. HIR-2022-06-SB5002_0.pdf (wa.gov) Would it still be okay to enjoy one drink socially, eat dinner, stay hydrated, and drive later? This assumption, of course, is highly subjective and cannot be measured.


For now, Washingtonians are left with more questions than answers about the proposed law. We do know that there are many cultural differences in the demographic of Utah and Washington. What works for one state may not be a solution for another.


The law on the legal limit has remained unchanged in Washington state. A driver aged 21 years and older may be charged with driving (RCW 46.61.502) or being in actual physical control of a vehicle (RCW 46.61.504) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor if a BAC test shows a result of 0.08% or higher or if they are “found to be driving [or in actual physical control of] a vehicle under the influence or affected by alcohol…regardless of the concentration of alcohol in their breath or blood.”


At Valdez Law, we believe that all people make good choices and bad choices. If you have recently received a DUI you may be feeling like a bad person. That simply isn't true. You deserve a chance to make the situation right, learn from your mistake, and move on to brighter days!


As a Bellevue DUI lawyer, Karlie Valdez has been defending people charged with DUI in courts all over Washington for twenty years. It's incredibly rewarding work and everyone deserves a lawyer who truly cares about the outcome of each case. Karlie will walk you through every step of the process. If you would like a consultation, reach out! (206) 718-4498

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