Many drivers are confused about Negligent Driving 1° and Negligent Driving 2° offenses. The main difference is that Negligent Driving 1° is a more serious misdemeanor criminal charge. While Negligent Driving 2° is a much less serious traffic infraction. Like a speeding ticket or running a red light.
Negligent Driving 1°, RCW 46.61.5949 (1) (a), is committed when a person drives both negligently (committing multiple traffic infractions) and endangers, or likely to endanger, other persons or property, while exhibiting the signs of consuming liquor, marijuana (THC) or other drugs. It is often charged when a driver’s alcohol or THC levels are below the DUI legal limits. It's penalties are less severe than those for a DUI, RCW 46.61.502. Negligent Driving 1° is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. There is no license suspension penalty.
Negligent Driving 2°, RCW 46.61.525, is committed when a person drives both negligently (committing multiple traffic infractions) and endangers, or likely to endanger, other persons or property. But without exhibiting the signs of consuming alcohol, marijuana or other drugs. Negligent Driving 2° is only punishable by a maximum $553.00 fine.
Call Lynnwood Attorney Paul Hanson for additional information. Call 425-778-7339