Police No Longer Punch The License

Hole Punch in Drivers LicenseDid the Officer punch a hole in your Driver’s License? (Update) The law changed in 2015 and officers are no longer instructed to punch a hole in the driver’s license. This doesn’t change much regarding pending license suspension. Whether punched or not, it is likely that the police officer has reported your arrest to the Department of Licensing (DOL) and the suspension or revocation of your license is imminent, if you took the breath test with a reading over the legal limit or if you refused the breath test.  In either scenario, the DOL will punish you by taking action against your license even if you ultimately are found innocent of the DUI charge.

The main thing to remember is that in the above scenarios, you only have 20 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing to fight the suspension of your license.

If you took the breath test and the reading was .08 or higher your license will be suspended for a minimum of ninety days and up to two years, depending on your record.

If you refused to take the breath test, your license will be revoked for one year and up to two years, depending upon your record.

The officer should have given you a notice and the Hearing Request form. If you don’t have it, the DOL has an online hearing request form posted online here.

If you took a blood test, usually the Department of Licensing will send the notice and form to you. The Hearing Request must be mailed to the DOL within 20 days of the date you received the notice (usually it is received on the day of arrest) along with a check for $375 (waivable if you are indigent) in order to get a hearing to fight the “automatic” suspension/revocation.

If you take no action or miss the deadline the DOL will suspend or revoke your license. This is true even if you have valid legal defenses to the DOL action and even if you are found innocent of the DUI charge. For most people, the opportunity to fight to save the driver’s license is critical.  A driver has the option of applying for a “Ignition Interlock License” which, depending upon the timing, can result in no loss of the ability to drive. However, under the ignition interlock license, the ability to drive is conditioned upon the driver having installed in his/her vehicle and ignition interlock device. There is an exception to the requirement for the device in the case where an individual is an employee, driving an employer-owned car on legitimate company business. Under those circumstances, the employer must sign a declaration under penalty of perjury. Washington’s DUI laws now constitute a complex matrix of choices that must be made by a driver almost immediately after a DUI arrest if the choices are to be made intelligently. Therefore, a good defense lawyer should be consulted immediately after a DUI arrest so that you can be sure you have not missed any mandatory deadline affecting your privilege to drive.

Questions? Call Jon Fox at the Fox Law Firm PLLC (425) 274-9190.