GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of Washington. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

  • Alcohol Impaired Driving


    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days With an ignition interlock driver's license

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions


    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No
  • Child Passenger Safety

    Child Restraint Required

    Under 2 years – rear-facing child restraint

    2 to 4 years – child restraint with harness (rear or forward-facing)

    4 years and older – car or booster seat until 4’9”

    Up to age 13 years – must ride in back seat when practical

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    4’9” or taller

    Adult seat belt fits properly

    40 lbs or over in seating position with only lap belt

  • Distracted Driving

    Hand-Held Ban?

    Yes. Primary law.

    All Cell Phone Ban?

    School Bus Drivers


    Novice Drivers

    Drivers with learner or intermediate license. Primary law.

    Text Messaging Ban?

    All drivers. Primary law.

  • Drug Impaired Driving

    DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

    • Per se >0 for some drugs

    Marijuana-Specific Laws

    • Possession and Use: Decriminalized and legal for recreational and medical use
    • Impaired Driving: THC per se (5 ng)
  • Mature Drivers

    Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

    6 or 8 years

    Provisions for Mature Drivers

    70 and over: no electronic renewal

  • Motorcyclists

    Universal helmet law enacted 1990.

  • Seat Belts

    Type of Law


    Who Is Covered?

    Over 16 or over 4'9"

    In What Seat?


  • Speed and Red Light Cameras

    Speed Cameras

    State Law

    Permitted by state law

    Where Permitted

    School speed zones; in cities west of the Cascade Mountains, only one camera and upon state legislative approval

    Red Light Cameras

    State Law

    Permitted by state law and city ordinance

    Where Permitted

    Statewide; at intersections of two arterials

  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving

    Rural Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 60

    Urban Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    60 60

    Other Limited Access Roads

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    60 60
  • Teen and Novice Drivers

    Full Privilege Minimum Age

    18 years

    Learner Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Minimum Duration (Months)

    Required Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours)


    15 / 6 without driver's ed.

    6 50 (10)

    Intermediate Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Nighttime Driving Restriction

    Passenger Restriction (except family, unless noted)

    16 1 a.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

    First 6 months: no passengers under 20

    Remainder: no more than 3 passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement)