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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    9

    Default DUI Refusal Suspension

    Refusing a breath test in WS automatically triggers a 90 day suspension within 60 days of arrest. I paid a fee and requested a hearing to contest. 60 days came and went with no hearing nor suspension. My lawyer said I should expect a refund of the fee after 180 days. My blood results came in after 4 months. Now I get a letter with a suspension date in 60 days and a hearing in 3 weeks. Isn’t it too late? I thought they had to do it within 60 days of arrest? They didn’t need the blood results because the suspension was due to refusing the breath test.

    This is in Washington state

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,169

    Default Re: DUI Refusal Suspension

    Quote Quoting FishEKat
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    Refusing a breath test in WS automatically triggers a 90 day suspension within 60 days of arrest. I paid a fee and requested a hearing to contest. 60 days came and went with no hearing nor suspension. My lawyer said I should expect a refund of the fee after 180 days. My blood results came in after 4 months. Now I get a letter with a suspension date in 60 days and a hearing in 3 weeks. Isn’t it too late? I thought they had to do it within 60 days of arrest? They didn’t need the blood results because the suspension was due to refusing the breath test.

    This is in Washington state
    You'll need to go over the details of your case with your lawyer. However, it appears that the answer to your question is that it is not too late. The applicable provision for this seems to be Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.20.308(6), which states:

    (6) The department of licensing, upon the receipt of a sworn report or report under a declaration authorized by RCW 9A.72.085 under subsection (5)(d) of this section, shall suspend, revoke, or deny the person's license, permit, or privilege to drive or any nonresident operating privilege, as provided in RCW 46.20.3101, such suspension, revocation, or denial to be effective beginning sixty days from the date of arrest or from the date notice has been given in the event notice is given by the department following a blood test, or when sustained at a hearing pursuant to subsection (7) of this section, whichever occurs first.

    (Bolding added.) The process starts with the Department receiving a report from the officer as required under subsection (5)(d). The officer generally submits that report within 72 hours after arrest, in which case the suspension starts within 60 days of the arrest and the Department sends out the notice of suspension after getting that report. But the officer has the option under (5)(d) to wait to send that report to the Department until until after the blood test is received, in which case, as the part I bolded above says, the 60 days starts from the date the notice is sent to you about that suspension.

    Discuss with your attorney whether contesting this suspension is something worth trying. Absent something unusual fighting a supension for refusing to test is pretty difficult in the states I'm familiar with, and I have no reason to think Washington would be much different on that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    9

    Default Re: DUI Refusal Suspension

    Thank you for the detail reply. The last sentence says “whichever occurs first”. My interpretation of that would be it means the date of arrest.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Re: DUI Refusal Suspension

    Quote Quoting FishEKat
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    Thank you for the detail reply. The last sentence says “whichever occurs first”. My interpretation of that would be it means the date of arrest.
    Yes, but you have to read that in conjunction with the rest of the requirement. The three events that trigger that suspension are (1) the officer sends the report to the DMV within 72 hours of the arrest; (2) the officer sends the report to the DMV after getting the blood test; or (3) or after a hearing pursuant to the subsection (7). The first of those to occur is what starts the 60 days. Well, the officer apparently did NOT send the report to the DMV within 72 hours of the arrest, so that was not the first event to occur. Instead, first of the three events to occur was the officer sending the notice to the DMV after getting the blood test. In short, the statute is looking for the first event that notifies DMV that that it needs to suspend the license, and in (1) and (2) that event is the report submitted by the officer.

    Again, you really want to discuss it with your lawyer. But as I read the statute it appears that the suspension would be good.

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