If you are arrested for suspected driving under the influence, or “DUI,” in the state of Washington, the state is authorized to revoke your driver’s license, even if you are not convicted of DUI as a result of the arrest. You may request a hearing before the state’s Department of Licensing within seven days of the revocation to contest it, but it is also possible to obtain a temporary driver’s license. While a DUI case is pending, or at any time after a license revocation takes effect, a driver may apply for an ignition interlock driver license (IIL), but state law no longer allows people arrested for or charged with DUI to obtain an occupation restricted license (ORL). This type of license is still available to people charged with other traffic offenses. If your license has been suspended or revoked due to a DUI arrest, you should contact a Washington DUI attorney right away to protect your rights.

License Suspension for DUI Arrest or Conviction

State law requires revocation of a driver’s license after an arrest for suspected DUI, or suspected physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It also requires license revocation after a DUI conviction. The length of the revocation depends on the number of prior DUI convictions, and whether or not the driver refused a blood or breath test.

A driver can contest the license revocation at an administrative hearing, with the goal of getting the license reinstated. Alternatively, the driver can apply for a restricted license. Applying for a restricted license requires waiving the right to an administrative hearing. Since 2009, state law does not allow an individual whose license revocation results from a DUI case to apply for an ORL. Instead, the IIL is available in DUI cases.

Occupational/Restricted License

The ORL is not available if a license revocation resulted from a DUI, physical control of a vehicle while under the influence, minor in possession, vehicular assault or homicide, habitual traffic offender status, or issue related to vision or a medical condition. It is also not available if the revocation occurred due to previous ORL violations. An ORL is still available for license revocations and suspensions arising from other criminal or administrative matters, ranging from reckless driving to unpaid parking tickets.

A driver with an ORL is allowed to drive between their home and their place of work or school, court-ordered community service, health care provider, and substance abuse treatment or 12-step meetings. It also allows travel related to the care of a dependent, and travel related to job training or an employment program. It restricts the hours of the day and days of the week when a person may drive, and also restricts driving to a defined geographic area and a specific vehicle. The ORL remains in effect for the term of the driver’s license suspension, or until revoked by the state.

If you are facing charges of alleged DUI in Washington, you need the assistance of an attorney with knowledge of this state’s criminal justice system. For more than twenty years, Washington criminal defense attorney Vindicate Criminal Law Group has helped defendants charged with DUI in Renton, Bellevue, and elsewhere in Washington state with their criminal cases and their administrative license revocation cases. Contact us today for your confidential case evaluation, online or at 888-212-4824.