In Washington DUI arrests involving alcohol, there are always two (2) separate cases. A court DUI criminal case. And a Department of Licensing (DOL) administrative license suspension civil case. The DOL case occurs when the DUI driver either refuses the police breath alcohol test or blows over the 0.08% legal limit for alcohol. This DOL case consists of a telephone hearing conducted within 37 days of the DUI arrest date. And often before the DUI criminal case begins.
If a DUI driver refuses the police breath alcohol test, the arresting officer often obtains a search warrant for a blood alcohol draw. Afterwards, the arresting officer immediately reports the breath test refusal to the DOL. The blood alcohol test results are not reported to the DOL until after they are received back from the WSP State Toxicology Lab, often 6 to 12 months later.
Until recently, the DOL only took license suspension action on either the DUI driver’s breath alcohol test refusal (1 year suspension) or the blood alcohol test results over the 0.08% legal limit (90 days suspension). But never both. However, in the last few months, the DOL has begun taking license suspension action in both situations. Even when the DUI driver has already won the DOL breath test refusal telephone hearing. A second blood alcohol over the legal limit license suspension action is now also being brought by DOL, often many months later. This forces the DUI drivers to have to defend themselves again in a second DOL telephone hearing.
Fortunately, Lynnwood DUI lawyer Paul Hanson and other local DUI attorneys have successfully defended their DUI clients, arguing that res judicata claim preclusion bars these second DOL license suspension actions where the DOL has earlier brought a license suspension action for a breath alcohol refusal. However, the DOL continues to bring second license suspension actions in these situations.
Please call Lynnwood DUI lawyer Paul Hanson for more information on these new second DOL license suspension actions. Call 425-778-7339.