At our law firm, we usually handle the Department of Licensing hearing as well as the criminal charge. This is usually done as part of one fee.


When people are arrested for DUI, they are usually served with a notice that their license will be suspended in 60 days if they do not file a request for hearing in 20 days. The current filing fee is $375 dollars. This must be paid to the Department of Licensing when the request for hearing is submitted. DOL also sometimes allows a person to submit their request for a hearing online.


Physical ControlThe hearing itself is not usually heard here in Spokane. The matters are usually heard telephonically, and the DOL hearing officer is often over in Seattle or Olympia. The issues at the hearing usually pertain to whether the arresting officer followed various technical rules that he or she must adhere to. Did the officer have probable to cause to make an arrest? Was there probable cause to believe that the suspect was driving while intoxicated? Was the breath instrument operated according to the standards as set out by the State Toxicologist? DUI lawyers often will want their clients to be present at these hearings to listen in. Sometimes the client will be asked to testify. That is up to the attorney. The individual making the decision is an employee of DOL. They are sometimes an attorney, but that is not required by law.


There is no specific deadline for the hearing examiner to make his or her decision. Usually the decision will arrive within a month or so. The DOL hearing officer will either affirm the suspension or reverse the suspension. If a person loses a hearing, he or she has the right to an appeal to Superior Court. However, appeals are rare because it is hard to have a license suspension put on hold or “stayed” pending appeal. If the DOL hearing is not successful, we usually will assist our client in obtaining an Ignition Interlock License or Occupational Restricted License.