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Criminal Defense & Personal Injury Attorneys
For The Tacoma Area

What Administrative Penalties Could You Have to Pay After a DUI Arrest?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2018 | DUI

After someone has been arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, that person may assume that he or she will only be hit with penalties coming from the criminal justice system. While he or she may be facing some criminal charges, administrative penalties will also follow any DUI arrest.

What Administrative Penalties Are Assessed?

After the DUI arrest, the police officer is required to notify the DOL of any test results that were 0.08 or higher for drivers who are 21-years-old or older. If the driver is underaged, the officer is required to notify the DOL if the results are 0.02 or higher. If the driver is operating a commercial vehicle, the officer is required to notify the DOL if the breath test result was 0.04 or higher.

The Department of Licensing (DOL) assesses penalties that are separate from the actual DUI criminal case. The only chance the defendant will have to fight these penalties is through an administrative hearing.

At the time of the stop and/or arrest, the police officer will likely provide the form need to make this appeal. If one was not received, it can be requested from the DOL.

A license can be suspended anywhere from 90 days to two years, depending on the circumstances of the case. These administrative penalties apply even if the person is eventually found not guilty of a DUI.

The DOL will automatically suspend or revoke the person’s license unless a hearing is requested to contest the suspension within 20 days of the arrest.

A hearing fee does come along with a hearing. And if the hearing officer decides in the driver’s favor but the court still finds him or her guilty of a DUI, the license will be suspended as a result of the criminal conviction.

90-Day Driver’s License Suspension

If the individual was arrested with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, and the person had no prior administrative suspensions, his or her license will be suspended for 90 days.

The DOL will not issue that person’s license back to him or her unless the car the arrested individual drives is equipped with an ignition interlock device.

The driver must also file a “proof of financial responsibility,” also known as SR-22 insurance with the DOL before the ignition interlock license will be issued. The driver should expect to hold the SR-22 insurance for three years following the license reinstatement.

One-Year Driver’s License Suspension

If the driver had no prior DUI administrative suspensions, his or her driver’s license will be suspended for a period of one year. The driver may be eligible to apply for installation of an ignition interlock device and an ignition interlock license.

The driver must also file a “proof of financial responsibility” or SR-22 insurance with the DOL, and this SR-22 insurance will be required for three years after the driver’s license was reinstated.

Two-Year Driver’s License Suspension

If this is the second administrative suspension within a seven-year period, the person’s license will be revoked for two years. The driver will be eligible for an ignition interlock license, but this will not be issued until the car the person drives is equipped with a proper ignition interlock device.

The driver must also file proof of financial responsibility or SR-22 insurance before the license will be issued. The SR-22 license is required for three years following reinstatement. But for the driver’s license to be fully reinstated, he or she will need to retake the driver’s test and pay a reinstatement fee.

SR-22 Insurance

For all of the above penalties, SR-22 insurance is mentioned. SR-22 insurance is known as “high risk” insurance. It is a statutory requirement for drivers who pose a high risk to the safety of others in the community. Premiums that come with SR-22 insurance tend to be much higher than standard insurance.

Even if the driver is acquitted of the DUI charge, he or she may still suffer an administrative license suspension, and the SR-22 insurance may still be required.

Probationary License

After an individual has completed his or her DUI-related license suspension or revocation period, a certain “probationary” license period may be required before fully driver’s privileges are reinstated.