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New Changes to DUI Laws

Posted Friday, April 12, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

It doesn’t take much for a DUI arrest to happen. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can cause an officer to arrest you. Driving Under the Influence can also involve prescription medications if they cause drowsiness or affect your ability to drive. An arrest can lead to serious criminal punishment and civil penalties with the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). A DUI conviction will result in multiple legal penalties including jail, fines, license suspension, probation and a criminal record.
Even without a criminal conviction a person can still lose their driver’s license or privilege to drive by DOL.

You can be charged with Driving Under the Influence if your driving is affected by alcohol and/ or drugs or if you have a BAC level of:

.08 of alcohol or 5 nanograms of THC for all drivers

.02 if you’re younger than 21

.04 if you’re driving a commercial vehicle

In addition, the Department of Licensing can automatically suspend your driving privilege If you’re arrested for a DUI offense. Starting in 2019, it’s even more important that you contact an attorney immediately due to new changes the DOL has implemented that impact you and your driving privilege.

As of January 1, 2019, the following new laws can affect you:

  • You need to request a DUI hearing with the DOL within 7 days of your arrest

  • The application fee is still $375 unless you are indigent and requests a waiver.

  • The DOL hearing will be held within 30 days.

  • Your license will be suspended on the 30th day if you don’t request a hearing

  • The DOL will only give you 5-days’ notice of the hearing

  • Always make sure the DOL has your correct mailing address so that you receive notices.

Some cases involve a blood test and those cases may require that your request the hearing within 7 days of being notified by the DOL of your blood test results by mail.

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