There are two primary components of being arrested for a DUI. There is the criminal side which can result in jail time, fines, alcohol treatment, loss of license, and ignition interlock requirement. On a civil aspect, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will take administrative action which can lead to license suspension, ignition interlock requirement, and SR22 insurance or proof of financial security through a posted surety bond.
All it takes for the DOL to become involved is to be arrested and charged with a DUI. The outcome of the DUI through the criminal courts has no bearing on what the DOL does in regards to administrative action being taken against your driving privileges. The DUI can be dismissed but the DOL is a separate issue and must be addressed with the DOL.
After and arrest the DOL will automatically suspend your license on day 61 after the date of DUI arrest UNLESS you request a hearing. There are 20 days after date of the BAC (counts as day one) to request a hearing. The officer should give paperwork to the defendant for requesting the hearing and advise the time limit. The paperwork must be postmarked by day 20 to not miss the deadline. I recommend sending the paperwork in USPS certified which will require a signature from the DOL recipient. This gives you proof the paperwork was delivered. The DOL must have the hearing within 60 days and every now and then they will make an error and not scheduled the hearing or indicate they did not receive the paperwork. If you have a signature copy of delivery but the DOL dropped the ball then you win on the DOL side.
The DOL recently raised the hearing fee request to $375.00 which needs to be included with the request form credit card information. The hearing request can also be done online at the DOL website. If you are considered indigent but to income there is an application for a indigent waiver that can be submitted. If you qualify then the fee will be waived. Either you or your attorney can submit the DOL hearing request.
If you don't request the hearing you will automatically lose your license from 90 days to 2 years depending on whether you have any priors in the past seven years. Not everyone requests the hearing and it is not a requirement to have the DOL hearing. The DOL hearings historically are only won approximately 25% of the time or less. The DOL only has to prove four things which are: Was there a legal reason for the stop, was there probable cause to suspect drinking, were rights properly given, and was the BAC level >.08 or was there a test refusal.
With a $375 hearing request fee and generally an additional attorney fee, the factors on whether to request the hearing need to be reviewed and weighed. Pros and cons are:
1. Don't send in the request form. Lose your license on day 61 after arrest. To get license back pay $150 fee, and show proof of SR22 insurance.
2. Don't request the hearing and license will be suspended on day 61. Although not recommend some continue to drive in the hopes they will not be pulled over while their license is suspended. If caught they will received a DWLS 2nd Degree criminal misdemeanor. This will also generate a show cause hearing for your criminal case. Once suspension time is up pay the $150 fee and show proof of SR22 insurance.
3. Don't request a hearing but apply for a restricted license while suspended. This will be granted if an ignition interlock is installed and SR22 insurance is carried. Therefore you can legally drive during the suspension period if you take those steps.
4. Request a hearing and unfortunately lose. You will have the same outcome as #1 and #2 and #3.
5. Request the hearing and win. This is the best possible outcome as there will not be a licenses suspension, SR22 requirement, or Ignition interlock. However, the results of the court case may still require these but not always if the DUI can be reduced to a neg driving 1st or less, or dismissed.
The good news is that you can drive even under suspension with the ignition interlock and SR22 insurance. Discuss these options with your attorney to make your decision. If you obtain a public defender as your attorney they will represent you on the criminal case however they cannot represent on the DOL case. Therefore you would need a private attorney for representation unless one represents themselves.
If you have been arrested for a DUI contact Russell West at 509-993-0748 for a free consultation to discuss options. DUI and DOL cases can be taken together or separate. For more DUI information visit Spokane Attorney website for more information.
Russell West - Attorney at Law 509-993-0748