After an arrest for driving under the influence in the state of Washington, you may face criminal penalties. Additionally, the Department of Licensing (DOL) can restrict your driving privileges.
The DOL will suspend your license after two separate scenarios – after a DUI arrest and after a DUI conviction.
After an arrest
If you drive in the state, you are operating your vehicle with implied consent. This means that you must submit to a blood alcohol test if pulled over. The DOL will revoke your license if you refuse to take the test or if your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher.
A license suspension begins 60 days after a DUI arrest and can last anywhere from 90 days to two years. You may be able to avoid losing your driving privileges if you request a hearing within one week of your arrest. In some cases, you are eligible to keep your license if you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
After a conviction
You will lose your license for between 90 days and four years after a DUI conviction, beginning 45 days after the date of conviction. The length of the suspension will depend on multiple factors, including blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest and the number of previous convictions. The DOL will credit any license suspension resulting from your arrest towards this second suspension period.
You may be able to continue driving with a restricted license and an ignition interlock device depending on the severity of your case. However, a strong defense is usually necessary to avoid all penalties of a DUI conviction.