The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) is set to raise the cost of an administrative hearing from $200 to $375. The date of this sharp new increase is October 1, 2012.
In Washington State, if you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Physical Control, or Minor Driving After Consuming Alcohol (Minor DUI), you are afforded an opportunity to save your driving privilege that normally occurs after your arrest. If your alcohol concentration is over the legal limit (.08 for an adult – or .02 for a minor) or you refuse a breath or blood test, you are subject to an administrative license suspension or revocation by the Department of Licensing under the Implied Consent Law (RCW 46.20.308). http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.20.308
A Driver who is arrested will have a hole punched in their Driver’s License. This punch makes an otherwise valid license a temporary license. A Driver who has a temporary license will be able to drive for 60 days after his/her arrest.
The DOL seems to be discouraging Drivers from challenging the loss of license by sharply increasing the cost of the hearing. A recent informal survey of National DUI attorneys confirmed that Washington State has the highest administrative costs for a DOL hearing and at least one state grants these hearings for FREE.
Is it still worth having a hearing now that the DOL has nearly doubled the cost of the hearing? In my opinion the answer is “YES.”
The DOL Hearing affords an opportunity to challenge the State’s case against the Driver, and information found in the DOL process may afford leverage or a victory on the Criminal case.
Don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions about Washington State laws regarding the DOL process. You can call me at (425) 422-5818 or visit my website at www.washington-dui.com Mark W. Garka