If you recently had your license suspended in Washington, you are undoubtedly experiencing a difficult time, especially if you have no other means of traveling to work. Thankfully, the state provides two forms of hardship licenses to ensure drivers with suspended licenses still have the means to commute to work, school, an apprenticeship, job training, or even to perform court-ordered community service.
Applying for a Hardship License in Washington
Motorists who are waiting for their driver's license suspension period to be completed can apply for hardship credentials, such as an ignition interlock license or an occupational license. If an ignition interlock license is granted, the driver must have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicles. Generally, those who are eligible for this type of hardship license had their privileges revoked due to a DUI arrest or conviction. You would not be eligible for an ignition interlock license if your license was revoked for repeated traffic offenses. Additionally, you would not be eligible if:
- Your suspension includes Minor in Possession
- Your suspension includes Driving While Suspended in the First Degree
- You have a CDL (commercial driver's license)
- You are not a resident of the state and are not on active military duty
Assuming you are successful in applying for an ignition interlock license, you will have to pay various fees, including a fee to install the device and a fee to maintain it every month. To operate your vehicle, you will have to blow into the ignition interlock device and, if you have consumed alcohol, the vehicle will not start. It will also periodically require you to blow into the device throughout your drive. All readings will be provided to the court, so do not jeopardize your ignition interlock license by drinking and driving.
Drivers also have the option of applying for an occupational license that allows them to drive to work, substance abuse treatment, or to a place where they provide care to someone in need. To obtain this license, one must complete a Restricted Driver License Application form, provide proof of financial responsibility, and pay the applicable fee. Unlike the ignition interlock license, occupational licenses provide more limited privileges. This type of license gives motorists the ability to drive for very specific reasons, such as the ones mentioned above. You cannot use your occupational license to go to a party or to have a fun afternoon by the beach. However, if you only need your license to commute to work or school, it might not be a bad idea to spare yourself the costs of installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
DUI Attorneys in Bellevue
If you were arrested or convicted of a DUI and are now trying to get a hardship license, contact a DUI attorney today for the guidance you need at this time. At Stein, Lotzkar & Starr, P.S., our Bellevue criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to providing exceptional legal representation to those who are either facing charges or trying to get their life back on track after a conviction.
Obtain the exceptional and compassionate legal representation you deserve today and contact us at (425) 559-9449 to request a free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable DUI attorneys.