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Department of Licensing

Department of Licensing (DOL) and DUI

If you have been arrested for a DUI anywhere in Washington State, you need to call me right away! Do not hesitate if you have been charged with DUI, as you only have 20 days to request a hearing to avoid any possible license suspension (on January 1, 2019 this time period will change to 7 days). You have 20 days from the date of your arrest to ask for a hearing if you either (1) submitted to a breath test and the alleged results are above .08 (if one is below, you need not request a hearing as the DOL will not be able to establish one of the necessary elements for suspension) or (2) refused to take a breath or blood test after being requested by law enforcement.  For those individuals who were subjected to a blood draw due to the suspected use of marijuana (a Marijuana DUI) or because the machine was broken or you were incapable of providing a breath test, you will have 20 days from notice of suspension (sent to you by DOL in the mail) to request a hearing.

Should I even bother asking for a hearing with the DOL?

If arrested for a Seattle DUI, I highly advise you request a hearing to challenge any license suspension. You only have 20 days from the date of your arrest (this will change to 7 days on January 1, 2019) to request a hearing.  There is a hearing request fee of $375 -The price for the DOL has changed just since I started practicing from $100 to $200 to now the current fee of $375 to challenge your (Washington State DUI) license suspension.  This is what I think about that change in fee: DOL hearing fees increase to discourage people from challenging suspensions!...this is a blatant attempt to discourage due process

What happens if I don't request a hearing to fight my suspension?

Failure to request a hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your license for at least 90 days on your first offense (up to 1 year for a Refusal, administratively).  For subsequent offenses within 7 years the suspension can be for 2 years or more. The officer/trooper who arrested you should have provided you with the necessary hearing request form. If you don't have that form download it here (PDF) and fill it out immediately. Then contact, Seattle DUI Attorney, Nathan Webb and proceed with all of the critical next steps, especially if you hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).  If you hold a CDL it is an absolute no-brainer that you MUST request a hearing to challenge the suspension of your CDL!

What penalties do I face if I have a CDL?

For those drivers holding a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), it is imperative to know that the PENALTIES assessed for a first offense criminal DUI conviction (or administrative finding of DUI), whether the driver is operating their Commercial Vehicle or not, is a ONE YEAR license suspension, not 90 days as the warnings presented at the time of arrest lead them to believe. It is absolutely urgent that you call and speak with one of the best DUI attorneys in the State if you have been arrested for DUI and hold a CDL!

Two Tracks in every Washington State DUI Arrest

Every Seattle DUI Lawyer will tell you that each DUI holds within two tracks...

(1) Criminal track - which begins when you are formally charged at an arraignment (this can occur long after your arrest).  Here you face jail, fines and fees, requirement for DUI Alcohol Classes, etc.

(2) Civil (administrative) track - which begins on the date of your arrest. You must request a hearing with the DOL (Department of Licensing) or your license will be automatically suspended, even if your criminal matter is resolved. This is a telephonic hearing which only addresses whether your license will be suspended or not. 

What happens if I don't request a hearing with the DOL?

Failure to request a hearing WILL result in the suspension of your license!Don't let your privilege to drive be taken without a fight! You will also be required to have SR-22 (high-risk) insurance to reinstate your license. Experienced DUI Defense Attorneys, such as Nate Webb, can assist you with this process.

Our Seattle DUI Lawyers handle your Administrative hearings

I handle your administrative (DOL) hearing at our office - it is a telephonic hearing which does not require your presence. You need a Seattle DUI attorney who understands the issues involved in these hearings so that you can fight any license suspension. See our results page for some DOL hearing results.

Possible ways to avoid license suspensions include:

  • Officer/Trooper was not certified to operate/administer BAC Datamaster or Drager Alcotest
  • Officer/Trooper had no basis for stopping your vehicle
  • You were not properly read your Implied Consent Warnings
  • You were not read your Implied Consent Warnings at all or in full
  • Officer/Trooper did not read CDL portion of Implied Consent Warnings (for CDL holders)
  • Officer/Trooper did not have jurisdictional authority to stop/arrest you
  • Officer failed to adhere to the protocol outlined in the WAC (Washington Administrative Code) for administering the BAC
  • There was no probable cause for your arrest
  • Missing information in report
  • Officer/Trooper failed to sign report
  • Officer/Trooper fails to respond to subpoena to appear for hearing thereby infringing upon your right to due process by confrontation of a witness against you, see Lytle v. DOL, 94 Wash. App. 357 (1999)
  • BAC ticket is illegible
  • An invalid sample occurred during your breath testing and a proper observation period was not followed after
  • No privacy given to you during communication with public defender
  • No observation period
  • Foreign substance was not removed during administration of breath test
  • Etc.

Let our Seattle DUI Attorney help you with this daunting task, as a license suspension is inevitable if you fail to request a hearing, EVEN IF YOUR DUI IS DISMISSED IN THE CRIMINAL TRACK!!!

Important DOL Links

Driver's License Suspension (WA State DOL)
Driver's License Hearings (WA State DOL)
Occupational/Restricted Driver License Application  (WA State DOL)
Ignition Interlock Drivers License Application (WA State DOL)

Contact one of Seattle's Best DUI Defense Attorneys, Nathan L. Webb, today for a free consultation.

Nathan Webb, Attorney at Law

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Nathan Webb is a Superb-rated Seattle Attorney by Avvo.com and has been repeatedly named a SuperLawyer Rising Star and recognized as a "Top Attorney" in Washington State by Seattle Met Magazine. He helps people with Auto Accident Injury claims, Social Security Disability Claims, DUI charges and civil traffic offenses throughout the Greater Seattle Metro Area

Free Confidential Consultation

Mr. Webb offers a free confidential initial consultation to discuss your case and review your options and rights. Contact Mr. Webb today to schedule your meeting.