If you’ve been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Spokane or anywhere in Washington State, then you’ll likely face two separate cases: a criminal DUI case in court and a completely separate Department of Licensing (DOL) administrative case. Winning one of these cases may not necessarily cancel the other. That’s why it’s so important to fight both!
In court you’re at risk of jail time, fines and court fees, loss of driver’s license and DOL fees, higher auto insurance rates (SR-22), ignition interlock device requirements, court ordered alcohol/drug treatment and other restrictions. The Washington State Court drafts a sentencing grid based on the current penalties a judge is required to impose based on a DUI conviction. The 2017 grid can be found here and these minimum penalties get tougher every year.
At the DOL hearing you’re at risk of losing your driver’s license and paying high DOL fees for reinstating your license and reissuing a new license, a requirement for proof of SR-22 insurance and an ignition interlock device requirement. DOL hearings must be requested quickly after an arrest, usually within 20 days. DOL’s website contains basic information about these hearings including how to request one.
The legal consequences of these two cases may pale in comparison to the impact at home and work. Facing a DUI will certainly create added stress in your household. Losing your license may mean losing your job. Retaining an experienced DUI attorney can not only lead to a great outcome, but it will relieve your stress knowing you are protected by someone who has walked this path before.