Charges of driving under the influence (DUI) carry stiff penalties, not the least of which is driver’s license suspension. The loss of your driving privileges makes it difficult to get to school or work, and can impact your ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Washington, there may be ways you can avoid a suspension.

License Suspended Due to DUI?

Law enforcement aggressively targets drunk drivers in Washington. Statistics from King County indicate close to 9,000 drivers were charged with DUI in the Seattle area during 2012 alone. Along with facing heavy fines and a potential jail sentence, drivers who are convicted or even charged with DUI face mandatory driver’s license suspension. There are two types of suspensions or revocations associated with DUI:

  1. Automatic license suspension: This occurs immediately after being charged with DUI, begins 60 days after your arrest, and can last for a period of up to two years;
  2. Suspension upon conviction of DUI: This may be for a period of up to four years, and begins 45 days after the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) receives word of your conviction.

Avoiding DUI License Suspension

The DOL advises that you may be able to avoid an automatic license suspension if you request a hearing contesting the matter within 20 days of your arrest. To be successful, the hearing examiner would have to rule in your favor, allowing you to retain your license pending the outcome of your DUI case.

If you have been convicted on DUI charges, you may be able to get one of the following types of  restricted driver’s license in Washington:

  • Occupation/Restricted Driver License (ORL): This allows you to drive to and from work or school during the time your license is suspended.
  • Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL): This uses an ignition interlock system attached to your vehicle to detect for use of alcohol on your breath. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start.

We Are Here To Help

If you have been arrested on DUI charges and have concerns about your driver’s license, contact the Nahajski Firm right away. We can arrange a free consultation for you to meet with our Washington DUI attorney to discuss your situation and the best course of action in your case. We serve Seattle, Puget Sound, and the surrounding areas; call or contact us online today.