DUI DOL Hearing in Washington State
A person being charged with a DUI faces two potential license suspensions: (1) for a DUI arrest; and (2) for a DUI conviction in court. Yes, a person who was arrested for DUI faces a license suspension or revocation not only from the criminal court but also from the Department of Licensing (DOL).
DUI ARREST AND LICENSE SUSPENSION
Typically, at the time of the arrest, the arresting officer will “punch” a hole in the driver’s license. The arresting officer should also provide the driver with a form to request a DUI DOL hearing to contest their license suspension for the DUI.
If the driver fails to mail the contesting DUI DOL hearing form to the DOL within 7 days of their arrest, their license will be suspended for a period time depending on their BAC level and prior DUI history.
If they mail the contested hearing request form within 7 days, the DOL will schedule a hearing date. More about administrative DOL hearings here.
Many drivers believe that the “punched” hole in their driver’s license means that their license is suspended at the time of the DUI arrest. Fortunately, that is not the case. A driver will be given a temporary license that is valid for 30 days following the date of arrest.
DUI CONVICTION AND LICENSE SUSPENSION
After a defendant is convicted of DUI in criminal court, the DOL will suspend their license for a period of time depending on prior DUI offenses and the severity of the incident. The license suspension will being 45 days after the DOL receives notice of conviction from the court.
License suspension for DUI conviction is independent of the license suspension for the DUI arrest. In other words, even if you win your DUI DOL hearing for the arrest, your license will still get suspended if you are convicted of DUI in criminal court. However, if you already served a license suspension for the DUI arrest, that suspension period will be automatically credited toward the suspension time for the conviction.
License suspension issues can be very complicated and we encourage you to speak to a DUI attorney regarding your licensing issues.