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Department of Licensing (DOL) Hearing Procedure in Washington State

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WHAT IS THE DOL HEARING PROCEDURE?

When a person is arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will usually “punch” their driver’s license and provide the driver with a form to contest the license suspension. The driver has to mail the form to the Department of Licensing (DOL) along with a $375 hearing fee within 20 days from the arrest. If the driver fails to properly request a hearing, the driver waives his or her opportunity and the license suspension will begin automatically 60 days after the arrest.

By requesting a hearing, the driver also “tolls” the license suspension until the actual hearing and a written order of suspension.

After the DOL receives the driver’s contested hearing request, it will assign a hearing officer and set a hearing date. The driver or their attorney will receive a copy of the police report and other documents pertaining to the BAC machine. Once a hearing has been scheduled, it may be continued or rescheduled at the discretion of the hearing officer.

The DOL contested hearings are done over the phone. The hearing officer will call the driver, their attorney, and the arresting officer (if the driver subpoenas the arresting officer). The hearing officer will advice all parties that the hearing is being recorded and will swear in all witnesses. The hearing officer will listed to arguments and evidence presented by the driver’s attorney and listen to the testimony of any other witnesses.

After the hearing, the examining officer will review the evidence presented at and will make a decision about the suspension or revocation of the petitioner’s license. The decision may take up to 6 weeks from the date of the hearing. The petitioner’s driver’s license remains valid until hearing officer makes a decision.

For questions not answered here or for more information, please call our firm to speak to a DUI attorney about your contested hearing.