If you have been arrested for a DUI, you will be facing not only criminal charges but also a civil case from the Department of Licensing DOL. The DOL will automatically take administrative action regarding your license unless a hearing is requested within 20 days and the hearing is won. If a hearing is not requested, or the hearing is lost, then the DOL will suspend a defendants license for 90 days up to two years depending on prior DUI arrests or whether the breathalyzer test was refused.
The DOL hearings can be difficult to win since the burden of proof from the DOL is less than in the criminal case. The DOL only has to prove four things:
1. Was there probable cause resulting in a lawful arrest. This would include probable cause for a proper stop.
2. Was the probable cause to suspect the person was driving a vehicle or had physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
3. Were the proper rights given to the defendant including implied consent warnings. Were these rights given according to law.
4. Did the person blow over a .08 on the Breathalyzer (BAC) machine, or did the person refuse the test.
If the DOL can prove all four of these points then the hearing officer will most likely rule in favor of the DOL and take administrative action. However there are many things that an attorney will look for to poke holes in their case. Your best chance to win a DOL hearing is to hire an experienced attorney to represent you. It is important to know that a public defender cannot represent you for the DOL hearing and only the criminal case.
Contact attorney Russell West from West Law Office at 509-993-0748 for a free consultation regarding your DUI or DOL hearing. Russell West can represent you on both the criminal and civil cases, but can represent on one or the other as well. The DOL hearing is not mandatory but highly recommended.