If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Washington, you will probably lose your driver’s license if you don’t hire a lawyer to defend you. You may still lose your driver’s license even if you do hire a lawyer — but at least you will have a fighting chance.
I’m Schöen Parnell, a DUI lawyer with offices in Lynnwood and Kirkland. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Washington state, you face an automatic suspension of your driver’s license by the Washington Department of Licensing. To challenge this suspension, you must request a hearing with the DOL within 20 days of your arrest.
I have yet to see an individual prevail at a DOL hearing without legal representation. However, I have won numerous DOL hearings because I have a strategic approach to each case. I have taught even spoken at DUI Seminars, teaching other attorneys how to handle their client’s DOL hearing. Because of the time limit for filing your request for a hearing, you should talk to an experienced attorney right after your arrest.
The defenses available to you at your DOL hearing will be very fact-specific to your situation. They may include:
Within a few weeks after your hearing, you will receive notice from the DOL as to their decision. If you won, the driver’s license suspension/revocation action against you is cancelled. If you lost, the notice will say your license is suspended and you must stop driving for the appropriate amount of time. An additional consequence of losing this hearing includes the requirement of filing an SR-22 form with DOL for the next three years. SR-22 is essentially proof that you are insured. It is a document that your insurance agency will have to send in to DOL every time your insurance policy renews.
If your license does get suspended and you need to drive, you can apply for an ignition interlock license. As your attorney, I will walk you through that process and show you exactly what you need to do to help ensure that your ability to drive is uninterrupted.