Is there any way to avoid a DOL driver’s license suspension after a DUI arrest?
What is the process for getting a stay of the DOL suspension if I am going the deferred prosecution route? Any driver stopped and arrested for DUI is going to have a DOL driver’s license suspension unless they request an administrative telephone hearing, as discussed in another FAQ here hearing, and then win that hearing. (The DOL sustains the suspension – meaning you lose and your license gets suspended for at least 90 days, between 6% and 43% of the time – depending on which hearing officer is assigned to your DOL hearing! This DOL action against your driver’s license / driving privileges will occur even if no criminal charges are ever filed in the court, which occasionally does happen. The recent SB5644 was unanimously passed by both houses of the state legislature. It gives drivers stopped for a DUI who wish to take a deferred prosecution (and remember, you can get only one per lifetime) the lesser of 150 days after the filing of criminal charges by the prosecutor in the court (which can take 6 months or longer, especially in the backlogged King County court system) or 2 years after the date of the DUI arrest to have their suspension stayed (held off) if they file a Notice of Intent to Seek a Deferred Prosecution with the DOL. In that event, there is no real need for a DOL hearing (though it’s sometimes wise to have one anyway in case a deferred prosecution is later denied or the client decides not to seek one). It is possible to have the DOL hearing, which can be won, but if lost could be appealed, and then file a Notice of Intent to Seek a Deferred Prosecution. Note that there are also separate driver’s license suspensions for DUI (from 90 days to 4 years depending upon the level of alcohol or drugs and the number of priors), Reckless Driving (30 days), MIP, Minor DUI and other crimes. The DOL website has a comprehensive 4-page list of the crimes that carry driver’s license suspensions and what they are. See: http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/500015.pdf