Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Can you drive a vehicle if your license gets suspended from a DUI in Washington State

The most common question I get asked is whether you can drive a vehicle if your drivers license get suspended due to a DUI.  In Washington State the answer yes.  However there are certain conditions that can apply that may or may not restrict your ability.  Keep reading to learn how you can continue to drive lawfully following a DUI in Seattle or Washington State.

The first question that needs to be asked is what type of license suspension are you dealing with.  Basically there are three types that would be applicable in Washington.  

  1. Administrative license suspension from the DOL
  2. Drivers license suspension for a reckless driving reduction
  3. Drivers license suspension following a DUI conviction
So if you're facing an administrative license suspension than you have two options.  You can choose not to drive and then apply for your drivers license following the suspension period.  Assuming of course there are no other holds or actions against the drivers license.  The second option is you can apply for the ignition interlock license which would allow you to drive during the period of suspension.  

To qualify for this license the applicant needs to do four things.  Fill out the application for the license, second the DOL a check for $100, get SR 22 insurance, and get a functioning ignition interlock device in the vehicle.  It usually takes DOL about 3-5 business days to process the application and approve the ignition interlock license.  

If you're facing a license suspension for a reckless driving conviction.  Then you need to apply for both the occupational license, unless the suspension was a reduction from DUI.  Then you need to apply for both the occupational and ignition interlock license.  Its the same application but there are different conditions (i.e., ignition interlock device requirement).

If you're facing a license suspension for a DUI conviction.  Then you really only have one options.  That is apply for the ignition interlock license.  See the section above on how to do that.  

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI lawyer in Seattle, WA.  He has been rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by Avvo.com and listed as a Superb Seattle DUI lawyer.  He also has been repeatedly recognized as a Rising Star in the area of DUI Defense by the Seattle Met Magazine, an honor only 2.5% of all lawyers are given.  You can read is bio here.   

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