Driving While Suspended – It is Possible to do Legally!

A common question we at SQ Attorneys get asked is: ‘Can I drive a vehicle if my driver’s license gets suspended due to a DUI?’ Well, in Washington State the answer is simple – ‘yes’ … so long as you take the appropriate steps with the Department of Licensing. This is so because there are certain conditions that apply which may, or may not, restrict a person’s ability to drive while their license is suspended due to a DUI.

There are three types of license suspensions that would be applicable in Washington due to a DUI: (1) An administrative license suspension from the DOL; (2) A driver’s license suspension following a DUI conviction; and (3) a driver’s license suspension for a reckless driving conviction reduced from a DUI.

If you are facing an administrative license suspension there are two possible options to drive a car. First, a person can simply elect to not to drive during the suspension period and then apply for a drivers license following the suspension period. This will require high risk insurance upon eligibility to reinstate their license. Second, a person can apply for the ignition interlock license (“IIL”), which will allow him to drive during the period of suspension. The IIL requires a person to: (1) file an IIL application with DOL, (2) pay $100, (3) get and maintain high risk insurance, (4) install an ignition interlock device and (5) actually receive the ILL from the DOL. It usually takes DOL about 5-20 business days to process the application and approve the IIL.

If a person is facing a license suspension for a DUI conviction, he really only has one option if he wants to drive during the suspension period – apply for and receive the ignition interlock license. 

Finally, if a person is facing a license suspension for a reckless driving conviction reduced from a DUI, he needs to apply for and obtain both an occupational license and a IIL to be able to drive during the suspension period.

As every Seattle DUI attorney knows, Washington State has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the nation. A DUI conviction can and will result in hefty fines, loss of privilege to drive and jail time. For repeat offenders, the consequences are severe. For individuals who have been arrested or charged with DUI, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of your rights and obligations. Thus, contacting a Seattle DUI lawyer is highly recommended. A seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer will be aware of the ever changing state and federal legislation that could result in more severe fines and penalties associated with a DUI conviction. In short, arrested for DUI? Lawyer up.

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