Charged With a DUI? The Strength & Experience You Need

Charged with a DUI?

The DUI Process and Consequences in Washington State

When you are arrested for DUI in the state of Washington, you will be subject to two separate proceedings. These consist of an administrative proceeding under the Department of Licensing (DOL) concerning your driving privileges and a criminal proceeding conducted through the courts. Each proceeding involves different governmental offices, procedures, and penalties.

The Civil Proceeding

The administrative or civil proceeding is called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). When you are granted a license to drive, you are subject to an implied consent law which means that you agree to a chemical test should you be suspected of DUI. Should your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measure .08 percent or higher on the test, this will constitute evidence of drunk driving. Those arrested for DUI are subject to an automatic license suspension by the DOL for a period of 90 days up to 3 years, depending on their DUI history. Should you refuse the chemical test, you will lose your license for one year and the refusal may be used against you in court.

You have the right to contest the automatic license suspension by requesting a hearing with the DOL. Your request must be submitted within 7 days of the date of your arrest. At the hearing, it will be determined whether the arrest was lawful, whether reasonable grounds existed for you to be suspected of DUI, whether you were informed of your rights concerning chemical testing, whether you refused or submitted to a chemical test and, if you submitted, what the results were. The decision concerning your license suspension will be made by the hearing officer. You may have an attorney represent you at the hearing.

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