Frequently Asked DUI Questions


Are you facing criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in Washington State? You will need legal representation to protect your rights and obtain the defense appropriate for your case. When it comes to an alleged DUI charge, it can be a frightening situation about which you know little or nothing. If this is your first DUI offense, you have a particular need for answers to all of your questions in order to gain a better understanding of how to navigate the system. We have provided answers to many commonly asked DUI questions below. With a strong background as a former prosecutor, you can trust that our attorney understands the laws, the process and how to best represent you.

1. When do I need to request an administrative hearing?

Those who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol are entitled to an administrative hearing before the Department of Licensing. The purpose is to discuss the dispute over the license suspension of the offending driver. This will be the driver's only chance to dispute the suspension that will take place. The form that your arresting officer should have provided you will have to be returned within 20 days following your arrest. Your right to an administrative hearing is waived if the form has not been filed within that time frame.

2. If my license has been suspended, how do I get to and from work / school?

After your license has been suspended, you may still have to get to and from work. There are some circumstances under which you can obtain an Occupational / Restricted Driver License (ORL) from the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). This can only be granted in very specific situations and after certain qualifications have been met. It could take 10 days to process this application. Further, you may be able to apply for an ignition interlock device to allow you to drive under specific restrictions. You can also obtain information about reinstating your license.

3. Should I take a field sobriety test?

Knowing your rights when you are pulled over is imperative. When you are asked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to take a field sobriety test, it is generally advised that you politely refuse. These are administered for the purpose of assessing whether the driver is likely intoxicated, but they are not always the most accurate method of making that determination. The officer cannot use your refusal to take the test as a reason to arrest you. At times, police fail to administer these tests properly, which can produce inaccurate results and negatively impact your case.

4. What measurements do the officers use to determine DUI?

There are a variety of methods that an arresting officer can use to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Observation is often the first method. If the police notice that you are driving in a negligent or reckless manner they may proceed by pulling you over. Then, the police may ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests, such as standing on one leg or reciting a series of numbers. Another method that may be used is a chemical test. A blood alcohol content (BAC) test is administered by directly drawing a sample of your blood and determining whether your BAC level is 0.08% or higher.

Do you have more questions?

We understand that being charged with DUI is confusing. Since it is critical that you fully comprehend your predicament, you must ask any and all questions that you have with regard to the law, the process, and your case. Please don't hesitate to contact our DUI defense attorney for the answers.