Your License When You Get a DUI

What Happens to Your License When You Get a DUI

When you have a DUI there are 2 separate legal processes to be handled.

  • One is the Criminal side of the DUI that is addressed by the presiding Court.
  • The other is the Administrative Hearing by the Department of Licensing.

The arresting officer will file the DUI report as required to address these two legal steps.

How Long is my License Good For?

The suspension of your driver’s license will begin 30 days from the date of your DUI arrest.   

Department of Licensing Administrative Hearing

You have 7 days, from the date of the arrest, to request a hearing with the Department of Licensing to contest the suspension.

This hearing will be held by telephone and the results will be mailed to you.

When you hire Merrill Law for your DUI, the Attorney will handle the Department of Licensing telephone hearing for you, or you have the option to represent yourself.

What will the Department of Licensing Consider?

During your Department of License Administrative hearing the examiner will consider several details.

  • Were you under lawful arrest.
  • Did the officer have reasonable grounds to believe you had been driving or were in physical control of a motor vehicle in the state of Washington while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug,
  • Were you advised of your rights and warnings.
  • Did you refuse to submit to a test, or if you did take the test.
  • Did the test indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more if you were 21 or over or 0.02 if you were under the age of 21.

What to Expect If You Handle the Hearing Yourself.

The telephone hearing examiner will advise you that the testimony will be recorded and that all the testimony provided during the hearing is under oath.

The examiner will review the issues to be decided, and identify the exhibits.  Exhibits may include the police report and breathalyzer report.

This is the opportunity to object to the admission of evidence or testimony.  If an objection is made, the examiner will determine if it is appropriate to admit the evidence or testimony.  

All the witnesses will be sworn in and the examiner will listen to their testimony.  At this point you have the opportunity to testify, present evidence, cross-examine any of the state’s witnesses or you may bring your own witnesses to the hearing.  

The hearing examiner will adjourn the hearing.  

Following the hearing, the examiner will review all of the evidence that was submitted and will make a decision regarding the suspension of your license.  

The review process may take the hearing examiner up to 6 weeks from the date of the hearing.  

If your license is valid, a temporary license will be extended to you until the hearing examiner makes the final decision.  

The examiner will mail a letter to the address that you have on record to notify you of the decision.

If You Do Not Request an Administrative Hearing.

Your license will only be valid for 30 days from the date of the DUI arrest.  Your license will then be suspended for 90 days or more.

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it isn’t the end of the world.  

Contact us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.


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