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Understanding Washington’s New DUI Law

Posted by Howard Stein | Jan 04, 2019 | 0 Comments

For many years, state lawmakers, awareness groups, and law enforcement officials have been struggling to combat the  number of DUI-related injuries damages and fatalities in Washington.  According to state law, a person can be charged with a DUI offense if their driving is even just the smallest bit affected by alcohol and/or drugs.  Driving under the Influence of Drugs includes driving while taking medications  that your doctor may have prescribed if they cause drossiness or affect your ability to drive.  An arrest can lead to serious criminal punishment and civil penalties with the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL).  If a person is convicted of DUI in court they will  suffer multiple legal penalties, including:  imprisonment, costly fines, license suspension, probation and a criminal record.  Even without a criminal conviction a person can lose their driver's license or privilege to drive and have their license restricted by the DOL.

You can be charged with a DUI offense if your driving is appreciable affected by alcohol and/ or drugs or if you have a BAC level of:

  • .08%, if you're 21 and older
  • .02%, if you're younger than 21
  • .04%, if you're driving a commercial vehicle
  • 5 nanograms of THC

In addition,  the DOL can automatically suspend, revoke or deny your driving privilege If you're arrested for a DUI offense.  Starting in 2019, it's even more important that you contact an attorney immediately. Because the DOL has implemented changes that impact you and  your driving privilege.

As of January 1, 2019, the following new laws can affect you:

  • You need to request a DUI hearing with the DOL within 7 days of your arrest (not 20)*
  • The application fee is still $375 unless you are indigent and requests a waiver.
  • The DOL hearing will be held within 30 days.
  • Your license will be suspended on the  30th day if you don't request a hearing
  • The DOL will only give you 5-days' notice of the hearing

Always make sure the DOL has your correct mailing address so that you receive notices.

*Some cases involve a blood test and those cases may require that your request the hearing within 7 days of being notified by the DOL of your blood test results by mail.

The penalties for a DUI conviction can vary based on your criminal history and the circumstances of your case.  If you  have a DUI arrest and conviction is it can impact your employment, career, your ability to travel inside or outside of the country and your ability to drive.  Fortunately, you can fight your charges, negotiate a reduction of those charges or even enter into treatment to avoid many penalties when you hire  the Bellevue DUI lawyers at Stein, Lotzkar & Starr, P.S.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Time is truly of the essence when you have been arrested for a DUI-related offense. At Stein, Lotzkar & Starr, P.S., our attorneys have helped countless clients secure life-saving case dismissals, acquittals, and charge reductions.  When your quality of life is on the line, hire an experienced and aggressive legal team to protect your rights.

Contact Stein, Lotzkar & Starr, P.S. at (425) 559-9449 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

About the Author

Howard Stein

Firm Partner, Personal Injury, and Criminal Defense Attorney Howard Stein has been practicing law for over 30 years in Washington State. He has experience as a prosecutor, defense attorney, attorney fighting for those who have been injured and as a judge pro tem. He also teaches other attorneys ...

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