Take it from me, a DUI is expensive, and inconvenient. But if you’ve already been cited for a DUI, then the first thing you should be doing is making sure that you’re not going to get you into more trouble that would cost you even more time and money.
My License Has Been Suspended
When you are charged with Driving Under the Influence in the State of Washington, the State will send a notice of the charges to the Department of Licensing, who will then send a notice of suspension to the driver. (This is also why I always emphasize to clients that if your current address is different from the address provided on your license, you should update your address with the Department of Licensing to ensure that you receive such notifications.) During an optional administrative hearing, you have the opportunity to contest the suspension with the Department of Licensing, though these hearings are not often successful for most DUI defendants.
To get your license back after the DOL has suspended your license, the DOL will provide personalized instructions on their website for what you’ll need to do to get your license reinstated. This may include needing to get an ignition interlock device or SR-22 insurance. These conditions depend on the nature of your criminal record and driving record. However, I would always like to emphasize that you should make sure that you meet all of the requirements set by the DOL before operating your car as this step can help you avoid getting a Driving with a Suspended License charge.
Complying with Pretrial Release Conditions
During your arraignment, along with being apprised of your rights in a criminal case and the charges against you, the court may also impose release conditions. These depend on the allegations against you, if you have any prior offenses, how high your BAC was when you were arrested, and other aggravating factors (such as driving impaired with a minor in the vehicle). The conditions that a court can impose on your release are varied and include requiring electronic/GPS monitoring, home detention, alcohol monitoring, as well as alcohol and drug use restrictions.
Electronic Home Monitoring
Electronic monitoring involves tracking an individual during or after a trial utilizing radio frequency signaling technology or active or passive global positioning system technology. These monitors detect your location and notify the monitoring agency of your location as well as if you are attempting to tamper with your monitoring device. I shouldn’t have to tell you this but: Do not tamper with your monitoring device! One charge is enough. You shouldn’t be making your job or your lawyer’s any more difficult.
Your lawyer will be able to give you the best indication of how best to move forward with your particular set of facts and circumstances. Although these tips may seem simple, failing to take the necessary steps to comply with the court’s order or to reinstate your driving privileges can make your DUI case last longer, and hurt your chances of getting the best resolution possible. So do your part, listen to your attorney and don’t turn one citation into more.