You probably already know that you face serious criminal penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving in Washington. However, you may not know that you face non-criminal penalties as well such as a driver's license suspension.
There are generally two separate license suspensions related to a DUI. The first is if you are arrested for a DUI and the second is if you are convicted of the DUI.
License Suspension for DUI Arrests
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you will face a driver's license suspension unless you contest the suspension by requesting a hearing.
To avoid a suspension, you will need to request a hearing within 20 days and the hearing officer will need to rule in your favor. If you don't meet the deadline to request a hearing or if you timely request a hearing, but the officer does not rule in your favor, you face a driver's license suspension between 90 days and two years. Your exact penalty will depend upon your prior DUI history and the surrounding circumstances of your DUI arrest.
You should be aware that even if the hearing officer rules in your favor, and you initially avoid the suspension, you could still face the license suspension if a court later convicts you of the drunk driving charge.
License Suspension for DUI Convictions
If you are convicted of a DUI in criminal court, you face a license suspension between 90 days and four years. If you already served a license suspension relating to the DUI arrest for the same incident, you can receive a credit for the time already served.
Contact a King County DUI Attorney
If you have any questions about a drunk driving arrest in the King County area and the penalties you face, contact an attorney at Cowan Kirk Gaston Wolff by calling 1-866-822-1230.