A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge in Spokane or anywhere in Washington State will most likely lead to two separate cases: a criminal DUI charge in court and a completely separate Department of Licensing (DOL) administrative case. These truly are two separate cases. You can win one and lose the other.

In the courtroom you’re at risk of jail time, house arrest, fines and court fees, loss of driver’s license and DOL fees, higher automobile liability insurance premiums (SR-22), ignition interlock device requirements, court ordered alcohol/drug treatment and other probationary restrictions. The court case usually begins with a DUI First Appearance court hearing within a few days of the event. In the event of an actual DUI conviction judges are required to impose statutory penalties according to the Washington State Court’s DUI sentencing grid. These are minimum penalties and they get tougher almost every year.

At the separate 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 physical license, a requirement for SR-22 insurance and an ignition interlock device requirement. In most circumstances DOL hearings must be requested within seven days from the date of the DUI arrest. There are some circumstances where the deadline may be longer, like when a law enforcement officer doesn’t request a breath test and only does a blood draw. However, we recommend erring on the side of caution and operating as though the deadline is always seven 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 add stress to your household. Losing your license might mean losing your job. An experienced DUI attorney will help guide you through this process and relieve some of the stress of the unknown. Contact Cooney Law Offices today.