DOL Hearing

Suspension of Driver’s License in Seattle And The DOL Hearing

DOL HearingThe DOL hearing is an administrative hearing and is conducted independently of the court orders, penalties or any other legal punishment that one may expect for a DUI conviction. An individual’s license may be revoked or suspended as a result of the hearing.

Once a law enforcement officer will pull you over, since they suspect that you are driving under the influence, you will be asked to submit yourself to a breathalyzer test. In case the test will show that your Blood Alcohol Content is 0.8% or higher or should you refuse to submit yourself to the test in the first place, the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license. Afterwards, the officer will give you all the necessary documents that will act as a formal notice of license suspension. The documents also represent a temporary license, which will allow you to drive your vehicle for a 30 days term.

In case your driver’s license is suspended during the DUI arrest, you will have the option of challenging this decision through requesting an administrative DOL hearing that must take place within ten days after the arrest. During the hearing, if there will be no evidence indicating that the revocation or suspension was necessary, the license will be reinstated. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that the hearing must be requested via the Driver’s Safety Office within 10 days after your arrest. The DOL will not initiate a hearing after that term.

Your license will be formally suspended within 30 days after the arrest. In case the DOL will not be able to initiate a proper hearing before that, our DUI defense attorney will be able to request the suspension be “stayed” up until the hearing itself.

License Suspension From a DUI in Seattle

Issues considered at DUI administrative hearing:

  • If you got arrested legally
  • If a piece officer had a reason to believe you were driving a vehicle while:
    – Under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    – Had alcohol in your blood of 0.02 or more and were a minor under 21 years of age.
  • If you were told your Miranda rights as required.
  • If you refused to submit to the test.
    or
    If the test was performed, and if the test showed an alcohol concentration of:
    – 0.08 or more if you were 21 or over.
    or
    – 0.02 or more if you were under 21 years of age.

Important Steps During DOL Hearing

  1. Examiner will begin the hearing by telling you all testimony will be recorded and you are under the oath.
  2. Examiner will begin the hearing and identify the prepared police report. You can object to the admission of evidence. If you object, the examiner will tell you whether to admit that evidence or testimony.
  3. Examiner will swear in all the witnesses and proceed with the testimony. You can testify, show evidence, cross-examine any of the witnesses, and even bring your witnesses.
  4. Examiner will look at the evidence and make a decision whether to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. The case review usually takes about 6 weeks from the original date of the hearing. If your driver’s license is valid, it will be extended until you receive the examiner’s decision.
  5. You will receive a letter informing of the examiner’s decision to your address.

DOL Suspension Period For DUI Arrest

  • 1st DUI: 90 days up to 1 year suspension
  • 2nd DUI within 7 years: Up to 2 years of license suspension
  • 3rd DUI within 7 years: Up to 10 years of license suspension
  • 4th DUI within 7 years: Up to 10 years of license suspension

Consequences Of Refusing To Take The Blood Test or The Breathalyzer

Washington State law requires drivers to take a blood or breath test if they are arrested on suspicion of DUI. State’s “Implied Consent” law says if you are arrested by a peace officer for driving under the influence, then you must take a chemical test of your blood or breath for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol level (BAC). The test must be taken within two hours of driving, the peace officer should give you a breath test. A blood test will be given if you are unconscious, receiving treatment, or if the peace officer suspects you are under the influence of drugs.

You can be arrested and asked to take a breath test even if you are not driving. If you have actual or physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence, then you face the same penalties as a DUI conviction. Drivers can also be arrested for pulling over to sleep while intoxicated and a peace officer finds them asleep in the car. The state punishes this behavior as a DUI because of the driver’s potential to wake-up and drive while still under the influence of alcohol.

Suspension period for refusing to submit to the tests:

Drivers of 21 years of age or older:

  • First offense – Up to 1 year of license suspension.
  • Second offense within 7 years – Up to 5 years of license revocation.
  • Third offense within 7 years – Up to 10 years of license revocation.

You will be eligible for challenging this suspension, but in order to do so properly, you will first need to hire a professional DUI attorney to represent your rights.

Learn about SR-22 insurance coverage

SR-22 is a special type of insurance that provides proof that you have a way to pay for any damages you may have cause while driving.

If your license was suspended as a result of a DUI arrest or DUI conviction and you want to reinstate your driver’s license, you will first need to provide proof of the SR-22 insurance to the Department of Licensing before your license can be reinstated. In most cases, you will be required to have the SR-22 insurance 3 years from the date you’re eligible to reinstate your driver’s license.

By Pavel Kleyner