An arrest for DUI in Washington State gives rise to two separate cases: a criminal case in court and a completely separate Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) case. An arrest for DUI leads to both a mandatory court appearance the next business day and a 7-day deadline for requesting a DOL hearing to try to save your driver license. Most folks keep a close eye on the court schedule because of the urgency and the fear of jail time, but a lot of people are missing the short DOL deadline.
The Washington State legislature has reduced the deadline for requesting a DUI hearing from DOL to only seven days after the date of arrest. If you miss this deadline the government will take away your driver license 30 days after the arrest. Twenty years ago the deadline for requesting a hearing was a full 30 days and if you missed that deadline, then the loss of license started 60 days after the arrest. Then the legislature reduced the deadline to 20 days and now you only have one week. This deadline reduction is designed to impose swift punishment for driving under the influence and will be imposed even if you were wrongfully accused.
Missing the deadline for requesting a hearing leads to several consequences. Your personal driver license will be suspended or revoked for at least 90 days and up to two years. If you have a commercial driver license (CDL), your CDL disqualified for at least one year and possibly for a lifetime. When getting your personal driver license back DOL will require you to have SR-22 insurance on file and pay reinstatement and reissue fees. If the revocation is for one year or longer, then you will also have to take the written and driving tests before getting your license back.
These consequences are fast, severe and expensive! If you or someone you care about is facing a DUI charge, they need an experienced attorney to guide them. Contact Cooney Law Offices today. We can help!