If I am convicted of DUI, will I still be able to drive?
In most cases, yes – with an IIL (Ignition Interlock License), which requires installation of the device (aka “blow and go') on your vehicle, SR-22 high risk insurance, and after those are documented with the DOL in Olympia, applying online or by mail for an IIL. But, if you have certain convictions enumerated in a special statute or 20 or more traffic infractions within a certain period of time you will be revoked as a Habitual Traffic Offender (“HTO”) and will not be able to drive for 7 years. Even in those cases, though, I can do a “stay” (aka “Document review”) after 2 years of no driving, and if we win that administrative hearing you'll be allowed to drive again. It has to be based upon a state-certified diagnosis of and treatment for chemical dependency, now called “Substance Use Disorder” under the new DSM-5. After 4 years, even if there's no dependency (addiction to alcohol, drugs or both), we can apply for early reinstatement from the HTO revocation. Additionally, after only 2 years into an HTO driver's license revocation, providing you have completed alcohol/drug treatment and your 3 or more HTO-triggering convictions of the crimes enumerated below in RCW 46.65.020, which I've reproduced, can be shown to have been related to a chemical dependency, addiction or substance abuse problem, and that you have had a state-certified alcohol-drug assessment and complied with any recommended treatment, we can ask the DOL for a “document review” also called a “stay” hearing and perhaps – if we win it, get your driving privileges reinstated. Most of these suspensions, IIL (Ignition Interlock License) requirements and early (i.e., “probationary”) reinstatements from HTO revocations, as well as being able to drive on an IIL during a suspension, require high-risk SR-22 insurance being obtained by you and on record with the DOL, and some also require having the “blow-and-go” device (Ignition Interlock Device”) installed on your primary personal vehicle. If you drive for a living or drive your employer's vehicles as a part of your job, it is more complicated. Driving for a living, if you have a CDL, whatever type, is a separate and complex subject I'll answer under a separate FAQ. Driving on an IIL and getting an IID installed on your vehicle is perhaps best understood by reference to these informative websites from the Washington State Patrol (“WSP”) and from the DOL:
These excellent links will take you to pages that cover a wealth of valuable and important information about breath testing, IID's (Ignition Interlock Licenses), IIL's (Ignition Interlock Licenses – aka restricted Driver's License, penalties following convictions on the court-side, administrative-side DOL penalties (they are separate and different), CDL impacts/consequences of DUI's (and other driving crimes) and how to apply for a DOL hearing, etc.