What Issues can be Argued at my DOL Hearing?
You've been pulled over for DUI, have requested your Administrative Hearing within twenty days of the incident and have your Administrative Hearing coming up. You keep thinking to yourself that you really need to drive because you have responsibilities like work, children, spouse, etc. You realize how you've taken you Washington drivers license for granted and want success at the DOL hearing. What will be your best argument at your Washington Department of Licensing hearing?
Generally Washington Administrative Hearings for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), cases, also referred to as DOL hearings, only have a handful of issues that can be appealed. Although other legal issues may be brought up during the hearing, the main issues are:
1. Whether you were placed under arrest.
2. Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving or were in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
3. Whether you were advised of the Implied Consent Warnings contained in the law, specifically RCW 46.20.308.
4. Whether you "refused" a breath or blood test.
5. If a breath or blood test was administered within two hours of driving, did the results exceed the legal limits of:
- .08 or more if you are the age of 21 or older
- .04 or more if you were driving a commercial vehicle
- .02 or more if you are under the age of 21
- 5 ng of THC in your blood
6. Whether the breath or blood was administered in accordance with the Revised Code of Washington or the Washington State Toxicologist Rules.
Many drivers wish to argue equity issues at the Department of Licensing hearing. For example, "I need my car for work." Unfortunately, the hearing officer will not consider your need to drive when making a decision whether your license suspension will be sustained or dismissed.
What do I do now?
DOL Administrative Hearings can be difficult to argue and it is important that you at least speak with a seasoned, respected and knowledgeable DUI attorney before your hearing.
If you have been pulled over for DUI: remember, you only have 20 days to request this hearing. It is always best to speak to a DUI attorney as soon as possible so that you receive all important information regarding DUI consequences, including your pending license suspension.