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What do you need to know about Department of Licensing hearings if charged with a DUI

1. If you were arrested for a Washington State DUI the officer is to inform you of the right to a DOL hearing and the proper way to request such a hearing.

If, after arrest and after the other applicable conditions and requirements of this section have been satisfied, a test or tests of the person’s blood or breath is administered and the test results indicate that the alcohol concentration of the person’s breath or blood is 0.08 or more, or the THC concentration of the person’s blood is 5.00 or more, if the person is age twenty-one or over, or that the alcohol concentration of the person’s breath or blood is 0.02 or more, or the  THC concentration of the person’s blood is above 0.00, if the person is under the age of twenty-one, or the person refuses to submit to a test, the arresting officer or other law enforcement officer at whose direction any test has been given, or the department, where applicable, if the arrest results in a test of the person’s blood, shall:

(a) Serve notice in writing on the person on behalf of the department of its intention to suspend, revoke, or deny the person’s license, permit, or privilege to drive as required by subsection (7) of this section;

(b) Serve notice in writing on the person on behalf of the department of his or her right to a hearing, specifying the steps he or she must take to obtain a hearing as provided by subsection (8) of this section and that the person waives the right to a hearing if he or she receives an ignition interlock driver’s license;

(c) Mark the person’s Washington state driver’s license or permit to drive, if any, in a manner authorized by the department;

(d) Serve notice in writing that the marked license or permit, if any, is a temporary license that is valid for sixty days from the date of arrest or from the date notice has been given in the event notice is given by the department following a blood test, or until the suspension, revocation, or denial of the person’s license, permit, or privilege to drive is sustained at a hearing pursuant to subsection (8) of this section, whichever occurs first. No temporary license is valid to any greater degree than the license or permit that it replaces… Rev.Code Wash. (ARCW) § 46.20.308

2. Once arrested for DUI and the officer complied with the above you have 20 days from arrest to request a hearing. The hearing fee as of October 1, 2012 is $375. If allegeable that fee can be waived.

A person receiving notification under subsection (6)(b) of this section may, within twenty days after the notice has been given, request in writing a formal hearing before the department. The person shall pay a fee of two hundred dollars  as part of the request. If the request is mailed, it must be postmarked within twenty days after receipt of the notification. Upon timely receipt of such a request for a formal hearing, including receipt of the required two hundred dollar fee, the department shall afford the person an opportunity for a hearing. The department may waive the required two hundred dollar fee if theperson is an indigent as defined in RCW 10.101.010. Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 46.20.308

3. If a timely request had been made for a DOL hearing, the Department of Licensing has 60 days to conduct the hearing. The 60 days is calculated back from the date of arrest.

4. You have the right to Subpoena witnesses including the relevant officers. The subpoenas must be requested to the hearings officer for their approval. Subpoenas must be served 10 days prior to the hearing.

A hearing officer shall conduct the hearing, may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents, and shall administer oaths to witnesses. The hearing officer shall not issue a subpoena for the attendance of a witness at the request of the person unless the request is accompanied by the fee required by RCW 5.56.010 for a witness in district court. Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 46.20.308

5. If your license suspension or revocation is sustained you have 30 days to appeal.

Notice of appeal must be filed within thirty days after the date the final order is served or the right to appeal is waived. Notwithstanding RCW 46.20.334, RALJ 1.1, or other statutes or rules referencing de novo review, the appeal shall be limited to a review of the record of the administrative hearing. The appellant must pay the costs associated with obtaining the record of the hearing before the hearing officer. The filing of the appeal does not stay the effective date of the suspension, revocation, or denial. Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 46.20.308

6. Deferred Prosecution can stay the DOL suspension

If a person whose driver’s license, permit, or privilege to drive has been or will be suspended, revoked, or denied under subsection (7) of this section, other than as a result of a breath or blood test refusal, and who has not committed an offense for which he or she was granted a deferred prosecution under chapter 10.05 RCW, petitions a court for a deferred prosecution on criminal charges arising out of the arrest for which action has been or will be taken under subsection (7) of this section, or notifies the department of licensing of the intent to seek such a deferred prosecution, then the license suspension or revocation shall be stayed pending entry of the deferred prosecution. The stay shall not be longer than
one hundred fifty days after the date charges are filed, or two years after the date of the arrest, whichever time period is shorter. If the court stays the suspension, revocation, or denial, it may impose conditions on such stay. If the person is otherwise eligible for licensing, the department shall issue a temporary license, or extend any valid temporary license marked under subsection (6) of this section, for the period of the stay. If a deferred prosecution treatment plan is not recommended in the report made under RCW 10.05.050, or if treatment is rejected by the court, or if the person declines to accept an offered treatment plan, or if the person violates any condition imposed by the court, then the court shall immediately direct the department to cancel the stay and any temporary marked license or extension of a temporary license issued under this subsection.

A suspension, revocation, or denial imposed under this section,other than as a result of a breath or blood test refusal, shall be stayed if the person is accepted for deferred prosecution as provided in chapter 10.05 RCW for the incident upon which the suspension, revocation, or denial is based. If the deferred prosecution is terminated, the stay shall be lifted and the suspension, revocation, or denial reinstated. If the deferred prosecution is completed, the stay shall be lifted and the suspension, revocation, or denial canceled. Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 46.20.308

7. The issues that will be covered during the hearing are as follows:

  • Wasthe arrest legal?
  • Did the officer have reasonable grounds to believe you had been driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in the State of Washington, while under the influence of a intoxicating drug or liquor.
  • Have you been advised of your rights under RCW 46.20.308(2).
  • Did you refuse to submit to a test or was the test over .08 or .02 under 21. (over 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood when concerning marijuana).
    Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 46.20.308

8. You have rights at the DOL hearing:

  • To be represented by an attorney
  • Request subpoenas for officers to appear
  • You can question those witness and bring your own witness
  • You may review the police report and other exhibits
  • You can present your own evidence
  • The DOL may provide an interpreter if necessary.

We realize this is a lot of information and the above is only scratching the surface of the issues. When you hire our firm we will represent you at the DOL hearing as well as the criminal hearing. There are many issues involving the DOL and it is unwise to attempt fight the Department of Licensing alone. Please call contact us to answer any further questions or to schedule a free consultation.