Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) it can be a very troubling experience. Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation and the penalties can be severe. A DUI arrest will start a twofold process of governmental action or intervention into your personal affairs. Law enforcement will turn your arrest over to (I) criminal courts or a prosecutor’s office to begin the Criminal Proceedings and (II) to the Department of Licensing (DOL) to begin Administrative Proceedings.
I. Criminal Proceedings
Criminal Proceedings of a DUI may lead to jail, confinement, electronic home detention or electronic home monitoring, fines, ignition interlock devices, alcohol or drug monitoring, probation, court supervision, travel restrictions or other severe penalties and consequences. Criminal proceedings will begin immediately with the setting of bail or the scheduling of your first appearance, if you are taken into custody.
DUI Consequences, DUI Sentencing Grid.
II. Administrative Proceedings
Administrative Proceedings of a DUI start with the Department of Licensing (DOL) and can affect your right and privilege to drive. The DOL will be notified by law enforcement of a DUI arrest and will begin the administrative process. If you do not request an administrative hearing right away you will lose your license in some fashion, either a suspension or revocation. This will of course lead to additional fees imposed by the DOL and perhaps third party companies should you need to obtain a ignition interlock license.