Can you drive if your driver’s license got suspended for DUI?
One of the biggest consequences a driver faces following a DUI arrest is a suspension of either their WA State drivers license or privilege to drive in Washington State. One of the most common questions I get asked when meeting with potential clients is what will happen if my driver’s license gets suspended? Will I still be able to drive?
The answer is it depends. If your driver’s license gets suspended either administratively, or by a conviction you have three options when it comes to your ability to drive. First, you can choose to not drive during the period of suspension. Secondly, you can choose to drive without further action on your part and face an arrested for a suspended second-degree license. Lastly, you can apply for either an ignition interlock license or an occupational restrictive license, both of which would allow you to drive during the period of suspension.
What is the Ignition Interlock License?
Beginning January 1, 2009, any person who’s drivers license was suspended administratively by DOL, or due to a conviction for a DUI you may be eligible to apply for what is called an ignition interlock license. To qualify for this restricted license three things must be submitted to the Washington Department of Licensing: First, an application must be filled out completely along with a nonrefundable $100 application fee. Secondly, proof of SR22 insurance must be filed with the Department of Licensing. Lastly, a functioning ignition interlock device must be installed in any vehicle you drive, and verification must be filed with DOL. Additionally, a $20 fee must be paid that will get forwarded to the DOL’s ignition interlock revolving account, meant to help low-income individuals applying for this temporary license.
What is the Occupational Restrictive License?
Like the ignition interlock license if your ability to drive is either suspended or revoked you may be eligible to apply for an occupational restrictive license. If you qualify for this temporary license you may use it for work, school, court-ordered community service, substance abuse treatment, healthcare, providing healthcare to another, or apprenticeship training. Unlike the ignition interlock, there are restrictions on times of day you may drive, days of the week you may drive, areas you may drive, and vehicles you may drive.
To qualify for the occupational restrictive license you must have a valid Washington State drivers license or be stationed in Washington State on active military duty. You’re not eligible if your drivers license is suspended for: DUI, physical control (drug or alcohol-related), Minor in possession, Vehicular assault or vehicular homicide, Failure to pay child support, Fraud, Medical or vision reasons, Violation of court-ordered probation, Habitual traffic offender status, or because you failed to pass the medical or visual examination, driver skills examination, or undergo required alcohol/chemical dependency treatment. Additionally any violation of ORL restrictions, and/or Canceled SR-22 insurance (proof of financial responsibility) makes you ineligible immediately.
What is the Combined Ignition Interlock License and Occupational License?
As of 2013, a DOL created a new restrictive license called the combined IIL/ORL. This type of restricted license comes into play when you’re required to have both the ignition interlock license and the occupational restrictive license. You will be required to have both of these restricted licenses if you have been suspended for an alcohol-related offense, and you’re eligible for an occupational restrictive license.
For example if you were arrested for DUI, and you prevailed at the DOL administrative hearing and your license was not suspended there. Then your DUI charge was reduced to the lesser offense of Reckless Driving which carries a 30-day driver’s license suspension. Then you will be required to carry the combined IIL/ORL because the suspension resulted from an alcohol related offense (the DUI), and you’re eligible for the ORL because of the Reckless Driving conviction.
If your license has been suspended if you’re facing a proposed license revocation it is best to speak with a qualified Seattle DUI Lawyer to discuss your options. Because time is of the essence it is important to apply for any restricted licenses ASAP upon receiving the notice of suspension. Otherwise there could be a period where the DOL is still processing the application and the drivers license or privilege to drive has been suspended. Which obviously is not good if an individual has to drive for work or worse yet their job requires them to drive.