What is the DOL Hearing?

Phil Weinberg Defense Attorney

I got a DOL Driver’s Hearing Request from the Arresting Officer – Should I apply for One?
Yes, even though they are tough to win, and you must do that within 20 days from your date of arrest or “DUI stop.” The DOL must then set your DOL SUI suspension hearing within 60 days of the stop and nowadays they almost never fail to do that, so there’s little to no point waiting until the end of the 20-day application period deadline to apply. Just send in your request online or by mail (postmarked within 20 days from your arrest/stop for DUI. Your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days minimum if you do not apply for this administrative DOL hearing even though they are very tough to win. You must win it to beat the administrative suspension. Depending upon the facts of your case, the level of alcohol, THC, etc. in your blow or blood results, how the testing was done – properly or not, whether the breath test device was properly maintained, whether a mouth check was done, how your blood was drawn, maintained and stored, and tested if it was a blood draw case, and even which DOL hearing officer is assigned to your DOL hearing, you may have a 6% to 45% chance of winning. It is a good way to get your police report quickly, though, while the prosecutor’s office may be holding off on filing criminal charges due to waiting for blood tests results from the state toxicology lab or just because the filing process is backlogged and slow in several counties such as King County and it can take many months for a criminal DUI court case to filed. Suspensions are longer than 90 days, from a year to a 7-year HTO (Habitual traffic Offender status) depending upon your driving history and your history of convictions for driving related charges here and in other states, too, which they usually but not always learn about. The DOL hearing is separate and additional to the court case for the criminal charge. There is no plea bargaining in the DOL hearing; you either win and get no resulting administrative suspension or you lose and the applicable suspension applies. So, a DUI driver-defendant can win the DOL hearing and also win the court case; lose both; or win one and lose the other. The results of the DOL hearing are not binding on the court case at all, and the DOL hearing usually takes place before the court DUI charge case is resolved via disposition (taking a deal or going to trial, unless the criminal charge is dismissed in court on evidentiary flaws usually after a pretrial motion hearing.