DUI procedures in Washington State have been altered by COVID-19 and it’s led to some folks making a big mistake! Most DUI arrests lead to two separate cases – one in the courtroom and one with the Department of Licensing (DOL). Court hearings throughout the state, including DUI First Appearances, have been postponed. However, the court delay has led to many people ignoring the DOL case and missing an important deadline.
Unlike court, DOL cases following a DUI arrest have NOT been postponed due to the Novel Coronavirus. If you’re arrested for DUI, then you must request a hearing from DOL within seven days of the arrest. We’re getting calls from folks who didn’t request a DOL hearing assuming that because the court case was on hold they didn’t have anything else to worry about.
Requesting a DUI hearing gives you a chance to save your driver’s license. Alternatively, failing to request a hearing pretty much guarantees you’ll lose your driver’s license. In a DUI situation any loss of license will lead to paying high DOL fees before driving again, purchasing SR-22 as a part of your automobile liability insurance policy and could lead to an Ignition Interlock requirement. In order to have any chance to avoid these penalties, you have to request a hearing immediately after your DUI arrest.
Historically, a DUI arrest in Spokane has led to a First Appearance court hearing the next business day and a requirement to request a DOL hearing within seven days. COVID-19 has flipped that sequence. While our state continues battling the coronavirus most DUI First Appearance hearings will be delayed for 45 days after arrest, but you must still request the DOL hearing within seven days. These timing issues will flip back to the normal sequence once court hearings are back on track, so please keep in mind this is a temporary issue.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI during this unprecedented time, you should immediately get in touch with Cooney Law Offices.