Folks arrested for DUI in Washington State do not immediately lose their driver’s license. The key word is “immediately.” Most people face a license suspension starting 30 days after their DUI arrest, but doesn’t start right away.

Confusion about the timing of license suspensions after a DUI arrest goes back many years. Law enforcement used to punch a hole in someone’s license at the time of the arrest. That led many folks to assume their license was no longer valid. This confusing practice of law enforcement punching holes in licenses ended about ten years ago.

Separately, about a decade ago the Washington State Legislature passed a law requiring police to tow and impound all vehicles involved in a DUI. Taking someone’s car away obviously led to confusion about whether they could drive the next day. This law was eventually overturned and today most vehicles are released to a sober driver at the scene or safely moved into a parking lot instead of being towed.

Current DUI laws state DOL shall suspend the license of someone arrested for DUI on the 30th day after their arrest if they are above the legal limit for alcohol or refuse a breath test at the police station. Drivers have a right to challenge this loss of license and in most circumstances, drivers must request a hearing within seven days of the arrest, otherwise they waive their right to challenge the suspension. There are exceptions to this time limit for some blood draw DUI’s, but it’s best to speak with a DUI attorney to discuss which deadline applies to your case.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, you should immediately contact an experienced DUI attorney. Delaying even a couple days could make the difference in keeping or losing your license. The attorneys at Cooney Law Offices can craft a plan to minimize the damage from a DUI arrest. Cooney Law Offices. We can help!