When you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you are probably going to face a license suspension of at least 12 months. This means no driving and no license for a whole year. People often face a severe catch-22: How can a person pay the fines and court costs associated with a DUI if he or she cannot even drive to work to earn money? The answer is a restricted driver's license.
What Happens to My License When Arrested for DUI?
The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) automatically suspends your license when you are arrested for DUI. You do, however, have a very short time period within which you can request a hearing. If you fail to do so, you waive your right to contest the suspension and will lose your license temporarily. This suspension is for 12 months. You have just 20 days from the date of arrest to request the hearing. There is a fee charged unless you qualify for indigent status.
New Ignition Interlock Law
As of January 1, 2009, the law changed in Washington. Perhaps you have heard that you can get a “work permit” to drive after a DUI. This used to be the case, but not now. You will not be able to obtain an Occupational / Restricted License (ORL) in order to travel to and from work if the reason for suspension was a DUI. These devices are designed to keep your vehicle from starting until you demonstrate by blowing into the installed breathalyzer.
While you cannot get an ORL license, you may be able to obtain an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle so that you can continue to drive following your arrest. But remember, this is not automatic; you must request it and justify your need for this option. It is ultimately up to the DOL to decide this, so you will want to schedule your hearing as soon as possible.
Insurance Requirements for Ignition Interlock License (IIL)
In order to qualify and maintain your IIL, you must submit proof of insurance for three years. You do this by filing an SR-22 proof of financial responsibility form. This requires that you either hold $60,000 in a certificate of deposit issued by the State Treasurer or purchase a $60,000 bond. This continuing responsibility ensures the safety of the driving public by ensuring funds to pay for damages and injuries that may be caused by high-risk drivers with a history of DUI.
What to Do if Arrested for DUI in Spokane
If you or someone you know is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, contact an attorney immediately. Do not delay, because you only have 20 days to request a hearing before the DOL to dispute your suspension. Remember, just because you are accused of DUI does not mean you are guilty. It also does not mean you should lose your license automatically. Contact Attorney Russell West for aggressive and experienced representation before the DOL.