If you were arrested for DUI, you now face two different court cases: 1) your actual criminal DUI/DWI case, and 2) a license suspension hearing before the Department of Licensing (DOL).
Many DUI defense attorneys will focus on the criminal case and avoid the administrative hearing. However, there are serious penalties involved in both cases. We understand how important your driver’s license is to you – daily living becomes difficult, if not impossible, without it. That is why we put the same amount of effort into your DOL driver’s license suspension hearing as we put into your criminal case.
Driver’s license suspension hearings are notoriously unfair. The hearings examiner who makes the decision is not only an employee of the Department of Licensing but also a prosecutor. It is not surprising that fewer than 10 percent of petitioners are successful in recovering their driver’s license.
Beat the statistic. Put an experienced license suspension defense lawyer on your side.
Our attorneys know the technicalities involved in a DOL driver’s license hearing. We know the pieces of the puzzle that must go together in order to be successful. We are also former prosecutors who know how to pull out helpful information from police reports.
How long could your license be suspended? Under Washington’s implied consent statute, if a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or more, his or her driver’s license will be suspended or revoked for at least 90 days. If a driver refuses to take a blood or breath test, the driver’s license can be revoked for at least a year. Multiple DUI offenses lead to longer driver’s license suspension periods.
What can you do to get your license back? You need to file a request for a hearing with the Washington State Department of Licensing within 20 days of your arrest. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be suspended as a result of your arrest.
What will happen if your criminal charges are dismissed? If your license is suspended, it will remain suspended even if your criminal DUI charges are dismissed. You will also have to purchase High Risk SR-22 insurance for three years. This is further reason to request a hearing with the DOL.
What if you win the license suspension hearing but are convicted of drunk driving? Your license can still be suspended if you are ultimately convicted of the DUI or DWI. Therefore, it is important to bring a strong defense to both cases.
What about commercial driver’s licenses? If you are driving a commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle and you are arrested for DUI, your commercial driver’s license (CDL) will be revoked. The only way to save a CDL is to win the administrative license hearing on your personal license.
Washington recently enacted legislation allowing individuals charged with drunk driving to petition for an ignition interlock driver’s license. If your license is suspended, you can apply to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car so that you can continue to drive. We can walk you through this process as part of our comprehensive DUI representation.
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