Your need for transportation does not vanish after receiving “driving under the influence” (DUI) charges.

If anything, it becomes amplified. You need to get to work so you can pay off the fines and DUI attorney fees – and that’s on top of any court-ordered meetings, treatment, and testing.

How long does a DUI license suspension last?

Well, it really depends. Every case is different so the length of your suspension or eligibility for a DUI restricted license depends heavily on the nature of your case.

However, there are a few things to consider.

Your DUI License Suspension Begins Shortly After Your Initial DUI Arrest

Like every other state in the country, Washington does not look kindly upon driving under the influence. As a result, the DUI license suspension process technically begins shortly after your DUI arrest: before your conviction, sentencing, and assessment of fees, fines, or court costs.

You will first receive a notice in writing 60 days after your DUI arrest, notifying you of the state’s intention to suspend your license. If you’re ultimately convicted of DUI charges in court, you may also receive an additional license suspension. Don’t give up all hope yet, as you still have the right to a hearing concerning the initial suspension.

The key here is to act quickly. Get an experienced DUI lawyer in Spokane, Washington. He or she may be able to get your DUI license suspension reduced, or even set aside. Otherwise, expect the suspension from your arrest to last anywhere from 90 days to two years, depending on the severity of the offense, according to the Washington Department of Motor Vehicles.

As a general rule, the length of your initial license suspension hinges on the severity of the crime you committed.

  • If you blew 0.09, cooperated well with police, and are genuinely contrite then you may receive a light suspension as well.
  • If you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .20 or more, resisted arrest and testing, and are on your third DUI then you should expect a much longer suspension.

First time offenders can generally expect to receive the minimum time, but multiple DUI offenses will earn you a much longer initial suspension.

DUI License Suspension Upon Conviction of DUI Charges

License suspensions are very typical penalties for driving under the influence. And if you’re convicted of a DUI, you could receive an additional DUI license suspension.

Remember that the duration of each suspension depends largely upon the circumstances of your arrest, and whether or not you have multiple DUI charges on your record.

Seek the Help of a DUI Lawyer in Spokane, Washington

It’s absolutely vital, during this initial phase of your DUI arrest, to enlist the services of an experienced DUI attorney in Spokane, Washington. They can help you reduce your burden of penalties and fee. Plus, an experienced DUI lawyer might even pull off reducing your charges.

Moreover, your license suspension upon conviction depends on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and behavior at the time of your arrest.

  • Expect an additional license suspension of up to 90 days if your BAC was 0.15 or less at the time of arrest.
  • If your BAC was greater than 0.15, you may face a DUI license suspension of one year or more.
  • If you refused a breath test, you may receive up to two years or more.

This suspension is before fines (usually between $350 and $5,000) or jail time (1 day to 364 days) along with any additional penalties the judge may set forth such as meetings, counseling, or regular testing.

Will My DUI License Suspension Still Apply If I Plead Down to Negligent Driving?

If your DUI lawyer can reduce your charge to negligent driving instead of DUI, you will not likely face a license suspension for DUI as the result of being sentenced for the crime.

Keep in mind that the initial administrative suspension for the DUI arrest will still apply. With that said, you should always enlist the services of an experienced DUI attorney to potentially mitigate, or possibly even have the suspension for the initial arrest overturned.

Fortunately, this can happen with the right Spokane, Washington lawyer on your side (depending on the circumstances of your arrest, obviously).

A DUI Restricted License Is Possible

You should also talk to your DUI attorney about a DUI restricted license. If you require use of a vehicle for work purposes or to attend court-ordered meetings, it is feasible that you may be eligible for a restricted license. There are other instances in which you may be eligible, but that is a very common reason. Talk to a DUI lawyer in Spokane, Washington about your eligibility.

A DUI ignition interlock (IIL) allows you to drive at any time for any purpose. You will need to discuss your eligibility and the required steps to obtain an IIL with an experienced WA DUI lawyer.

Qualifications, Rules, and Regulations

To determine your eligibility, you will need to submit an application to the Department of Licensing, which you can do at any time – including during your license suspension hearing.

The IIL also requires you to install and pay for an ignition interlock device which you’ll blow into every time you start your vehicle. If granted an ILL, you must provide certification from a qualified interlock installer to the DOL.

Furthermore, you’ll need to provide proof of financial responsibility from your auto insurer, also known as an SR-22.

Restricted License vs. ORL

Keep in mind that this type of restricted license is different from an Occupational Restricted License or ORL. The ORL strictly applies to people convicted of non-DUI traffic offenses. The key difference is that an IIL requires the installation of an interlock device to prove sobriety when starting and operating your vehicle.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you should seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. He or she can help mitigate your DUI license suspension and start the process for a DUI restricted license if loss of all driving privileges would create undue hardship.

Don’t risk losing your job and freedom from lack of transportation following a DUI arrest. Contact a DUI lawyer in Spokane, Washington today!