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Should I request a DOL hearing after my DUI?

Posted by Tony Swartz | Aug 15, 2022

This is a very confusing area of the law. It is IMPERATIVE that you call an attorney right after your DUI happens to discuss your specific scenario because the deadlines are very short here and laws often change. If you make the wrong decision, it is not easy, and maybe near  impossible, to reverse your mistake. Call me for a free consultation at 509-293-7593 if you need help in Ellensburg, Cle Elum, or Yakima.

RCW 46.20.308 is the implied consent hearing statute. "Implied consent" is the legal term used for when your license is suspended BEFORE YOU'RE CONVICTED OF ANYTHING because of a DUI. To have your license suspended in Washington, you must give a breath/blood test and the reported number must over the "per se" limit of .08 or 5ng. If that happens, you are facing at least a 90 day license suspension. If you refuse a valid request for the breath test, you are facing at least a 1 year license revocation. These numbers drastically go up if you have had a prior offense that triggered this section, so it's really important to talk to an attorney about your specific scenario.

As you can see in the graph above, the odds are against you in winning a hearing on this issue. It doesn't mean you should not try, though. I typically recommend clients request a hearing using DOL's LicenseExpress portal immediately after they get arrested. The current law (July 2022) requires you make the request within 7 days of arrest in most cases. Doing it online is easiest because you get immediate confirmation that DOL received your request. The last thing you want to do is be arguing about lost USPS mail (while your license is inadvertently suspended).

About 1/2 of the "wins" were because an officer did not show up to the hearing. The other half are related to very technical legal requirements that a layman is unlikely to find on their own. Again, it is really important to use an experienced attorney who is doing DOL hearings. This gives you the best odds at saving your license.

Please feel free to call me to discuss your specific case. This short article is merely informational based on generalities and the law as it existed at the time of the article. You should not rely on it for your own scenario, as statistics can always change and the law certainly WILL change at some point. Call me at 509-293-7593 for a DOL hearing consultation if your DUI was cited in Kittitas County or Yakima County. 

About the Author

Tony Swartz

Tony Swartz is an experienced lawyer in Washington State. He has handled, most from start to finish, over 10,000 criminal cases with a focus on DUIs and other misdemeanor charges. In addition to his legal practice, Tony is a recognized expert in the field and routinely teaches classes at both Central Washington University and Yakima Valley College.

Law Office of Tony Swartz

Tony Swartz is a lawyer practicing criminal defense in Kittitas County and Yakima County who specializes in Ellensburg DUIs and Yakima DUIs. He also represents clients with other misdemeanor charges. Call today for a free consultation.

Tony moved to Ellensburg in 2005 and has lived here since other than a brief break for law school. He attended CWU and Willamette University College of Law. He is also on the executive board for Ellensburg Music Festival, Ellensburg Downtown Rotary, and Ellensburg Big Band (where he also plays trumpet). He also plays hockey at the Yakima Ice Rink and Kraken Community Iceplex, in addition to attending a lot of Seattle Kraken games.

Contact Info

​PO Box 684
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Office: 422 N Pine, Ellensburg WA 98926

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Fax: 509-295-8378