When you drive in Washington, you give implied consent to submit to a blood alcohol test.
Should you get stopped for drunk driving and refuse to submit to such a test, you face penalties including a driver's license suspension regardless of whether or not you were drunk.
In these cases, you will have to go through a State Department of Licensing (DOL) hearing that is completely separate from the criminal process to determine whether you will lose your driving privileges.
Issues Considered at Your Hearing
A DOL examiner will consider:
- Whether you were under lawful arrest.
- Whether an officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were drunk driving.
- Whether you were advised of your rights and warnings to refuse to a blood alcohol test.
- Whether you refused to submit to the test or whether you tested above the legal limit.
What Happens During the Hearing
The hearing is typically conducted over the phone. However, you will be advised that all testimony is recorded and provided under oath.
The hearing examiner will review evidence and exhibits such as the police report and you may object to the admission of certain evidence or testimony. Witnesses may have an opportunity to speak and they will be similarly sworn in. You will also have your chance to testify, present evidence, cross-examine the state's witnesses, and bring your own witnesses.
The hearing examiner will review the evidence and ultimately make a decision regarding your driving privileges.
Your Rights at the Hearing
You enjoy the following rights at your DOL hearing:
- You will have the right to be represented by an attorney.
- You can request that the DOL subpoena the arresting officer or other witnesses to appear at the hearing.
- You may review the police report or other documents submitted as evidence.
- You may present evidence, call your own witnesses, and testify on your own behalf.
Contact a King County DUI Attorney
If you have an upcoming DOL hearing, you should consider working with an experienced DUI attorney in the Seattle and King County areas. The DOL hearing is completely separate from the criminal process and you could face penalties even if the criminal charges against you are dropped.
An experienced DUI attorney can help you prepare for the DOL hearing and help ensure that you do not lose your driving privileges. Contact the attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense at 425-284-2000 to schedule a free consultation.