How do I fight the Seattle license suspension?
Under Washington DUI laws, if the officer requests and you refuse to take the breathalyzer test or the blood test, or if you do take the breathalyzer test or the blood test but register a .08 blood alcohol concentration or greater, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will initiate license suspension procedures against you. You must request a hearing with the DOL within the required period of time to obtain a hearing and challenge the Seattle license suspension. If you do not make the hearing request within 7 days of your arrest you will lose your right to a hearing to challenge the Seattle license suspension. The DOL will normally hold a phone hearing where the DOL officer will simply review the police reports and other documents and then render a decision whether to uphold the Seattle license suspension. The length of the DOL suspension varies depending on whether there has been a prior administrative suspension in the past seven years. The specific DOL license penalty can be found by reviewing the WA DUI sentencing grid: see WA DUI Sentencing Grid.
Mr. Ejarque has won many DOL hearings through a variety of successful legal arguments. In a surprising number of cases the police officer fails to include necessary information in the police report. For example, the officer may not clearly indicate that a mouth check and 15 minute observation period were properly done before he administered the breath test. In other cases the officer may not have included the BAC Ticket or the proper certifications verifying his qualifications to operate the machine. In other cases the police report fails to show the officer had a legal basis to stop your car or arrest you. In refusal cases the DOL may be unable to show that the proper warnings were given. In some cases, evidence shows that persons did not in fact refuse to take the test but made an earnest attempt to blow into the machine. The Washington State Patrol website provides data on each breath sample or refusal taken. That information can help to win a case. On other occasions police video tapes are available that contradict the police report or show that the officer did not comply with required procedures. Other times the court will suppress the BAC results and this will be used to win the DOL hearing.
If the police reports are sufficient to uphold a Seattle license suspension, often Mr. Ejarque will serve a subpoena on the officer to appear at the DOL hearing. Mr. Ejarque will then have the opportunity to question the police officer and possibly reveal useful information that is not in the report. Sometimes the record of the officer's testimony can be used to win the case in court. If the officer does not respond to the subpoena, most DOL hearing officers will dismiss the action. Mr. Ejarque has won a number of DOL hearings simply because the police officer has not appeared, as required by law.
The success of prior cases, however, is not determinative of the outcome of future cases. Every case is different. Please call Mr. Ejarque at 206-621-1554 to find out what to expect in your Seattle license suspension case.