Washington state is known for having some of the strictest DUI laws. Anyone who is arrested for DUI in Washington typically faces two separate legal matters. The first is the actual criminal charge filed in either municipal or district court. The second is an administrative license suspension or revocation by the Department of Licensing. The two matters are independent of one another, and the outcome of one does not impact the other.
While the beginning of the court process varies on the jurisdiction (some people appear in court for their first appearance within a day or two after the DUI arrest while others might have to wait several weeks), the DOL action is immediate if there was a breath test in excess of the legal limit or the driver refused the test. If a police officer punches a driver's license at the completion of a breath test or for a driver refusing the test, it is notice that the is now "temporary" and set to be suspended or revoked on the 61st day following arrest.
In order to prevent this automatic DOL action, a driver must request a hearing with the department of licensing within 20 days following arrest. Before mailing in the request, a person should consult with an experienced DUI lawyer to discuss his or her options.
Remember, time is of essence following an arrest. Seattle DUI Attorney Aaron Wolff is available 7 days a week. He can be reached directly at 206-504-2500.