When stopped and cited for a DUI with a BAC over a .o8 or with 5.00 nng THC, a driver faces losing his driving privilege for at least 90 days. A driver who is stopped and cited for refusing a BAC is facing at least a 1 year loss of privilege to drive. Those losses of privilege to drive cannot take place, however, without first being given an opportunity to be heard via an administrative hearing with the Department of Licensing.
Prior to January 1, 2019, the driver had 20 days from the date of the incident to request the aforesaid hearing to determine whether their license would be suspended. And if requested, the hearing to contest the suspension was set within 60 days of the incident. Many, many years ago a driver had 30 days from the date of the incident to request a hearing; so, as one can see, over the years the time to request a hearing has dwindled from 30 to 20 to a whopping 7 days. And this time around, the driver’s hearing will be set not 60 days from the incident, but 30. That certainly doesn’t leave much time to prepare for an event that may result in a driver being license-less for a at least 90 days (and possibly up to 2 years!).
Previously, the Department of Licensing was required to give a driver at least ten (10) days’ notice of a hearing. Under the new timeline(s), that notice has been reduced to only five (5) days. To make matters even more confusing, some officers are still providing arrested DUI drivers with the old forms referencing 20 day timeline requests. Regardless, the Department of Licensing is not bound by the old forms and will not honor a request made outside of 7 days. So be fair warned, if you have received one of the ‘old’ forms, disregard it and make your request for a hearing within 7 days of the incident.
As a result of the above changes, arrested DUI drivers are required to make decisions much quicker than in years past. If you or a loved one is arrested for DUI you should immediately contact a Seattle DUI defense attorney. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI lawyer, among other things, can quite possibly save thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, the extent of loss of privilege to drive, and the amount of jail time to be served. We have said it before and will say it again, Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart and consult with a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for an alcohol and/or drug related DUI in Washington State. SQ Attorneys is here to help – (206) 441-1600.