No Driver's License if alcoholic?

The State of Washington emphasizes alcohol treatment when necessary in connection with a Washington state or Seattle DUI arrest or conviction. However, it is not well known that even in the absence of a DUI conviction or a DUI arrest, the DOL will not issue a license to an individual who has been classified as an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser. Here is the text from the relevant statute:

RCW 46.20.031


The department shall not issue a driver's license to a person:

(1) Who is under the age of sixteen years;

(2) Whose driving privilege has been withheld unless and until the department may authorize the driving privilege under RCW 46.20.311;

(3) Who has been classified as an alcoholic, drug addict, alcohol abuser, or drug abuser by a program approved by the department of social and health services. The department may, however, issue a license if the person:

(a) Has been granted a deferred prosecution under chapter 10.05 RCW; or

(b) Is satisfactorily participating in or has successfully completed an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program approved by the department of social and health services and has established control of his or her alcohol or drug abuse problem;

As the law states, the DOL will issue a license to such a driver who is alcoholic or an alcohol abuser, however, if they are in compliance with a treatment program.The rationale is, of course, public safety. Licensing issues before or after a DUI arrest in Seattle or Washington State are very complex. In our firm, attorney Diana Lundin is our in house source for the latest information regarding DOL implications of a Seattle or Washington state DUI, as her practice is focused upon DOL issues.