Anyone who is arrested or charged with a DUI will also have to deal with the Department of Licensing (DOL) consequences, as well as the normal court process. When the police officer who handles the arrest writes up their report, they will send a copy to DOL, who will then start an administrative action against a persons driver's license, or their privilege to drive ( if they have an out-of state or license, or are unlicensed).
The officer is supposed to provide the arrested person with a document called a DUI hearing request, available below:
The arrested driver then has 7 days from the arrest, or 7 days from the time the notice was given to them (typical in blood test results), to request a DOL hearing my mail or online. They need to pay DOL $375 for the hearing that will decide whether their license will be suspended or not, unless they are indigent, in which case a fee waiver form will need to be submitted at the same time as the hearing request. Failing to request the hearing will result in an automatic license suspension.
DOL is required to set the hearing within 60 days, and the hearing is done telephonically by the attorney handling the case. Prior to the hearing, the DOL will provide the defense attorney with all of the evidence that the department intends to use at the hearing. At the hearing, the attorney can contest the stop or contact with the arrested party, the probable cause for arrest, as well as the results of the breath test. Hearings are also conducted to determine if a person refused an evidentiary breath test, which also results in a suspension.
If a person loses their DOL hearing on a first offense DUI, where they took the breath test, the usual result is a 90 day license suspension. If they lose on the issue of having refused the breath test, the usual result is a 1 year license suspension. Depending on the breath test results and the driver's history, the suspension can vary. The suspension can also be increased by later convictions in court.
If a person wins their DOL hearing, the agency takes no action against their drivers license or privilege to drive, but may do so later if the court findings are adverse.
If your license is suspended by DOL for a DUI administrative hearing, you may be able to qualify for an Ignition Interlock Driver's License. If you qualify, you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), and only drive vehicles equipped with such a device. You will also be required to obtain SR-22 insurance, complete an application, and pay the appropriate fees to DOL.
If you have questions about DOL hearings and suspensions related to a DUI charge, please feel free to contact our office.