(observe from the author: The original of this article was posted in 2005. Much has changed since then and the reader is advised to research current law firm websites concentrated on DUI defense for updates.)
Although you won’t find “loss of job” listed in Washington state’s DUI laws, a drunk driving arrest can have a devastating impact upon your continued employment. If you need to excursion to get to work, or you must excursion to do your job, a DUI arrest in Washington state sets in motion two ways you can suffer due to loss of your license:
(1) administratively at the hands of the Department of Licensing
(2) by court action if you are afterward convicted of DUI.
In Washington state, when a breath test was taken and the consequence was.08 or higher, the Department of Licensing will seek to administratively suspend your license already if you are not charged with the crime of DUI. In most situations you will be eligible to apply for an ignition interlock license, but this requires you to excursion (with few exceptions) only if the means you excursion has an ignition interlock device installed.
There is an exception to the ignition interlock law that permits you to excursion an employer’s means, if required by the job, without an ignition interlock. The application for this may be found on several websites, including the Fox Bowman Duarte website.
An ignition interlock method that your car won’t start if alcohol is present, and the horn will honk and lights flash if alcohol is detected while driving. The job implications of this in-car breath test device are threatening for persons in sales requiring client interaction: few possible clients are impressed by a sales person who drives an ignition interlocked means.
Beyond this, individuals who must travel for business and then who must rent cars at destination sales locations will be unable to rent cars during the time an ignition interlock is required, consequently impacting the ability to travel for business. At present, no car rental agencies are known to have ignition interlock equipped vehicles in their fleets.
already with no prior record, up to a year in jail can be imposed and if the breath test was refused, a two-year license revocation is imposed. Then, the ignition interlock requirement exists for at the minimum one year after the suspension has been served.
If there is a prior DUI offense within seven years of the date of the arrest for the current incident, things get much worse if your job requires interstate travel. New Washington state DUI legislation requires such a person to acquire permission from the Department of Corrections before traveling interstate. The application course of action takes time and will greatly obstruct or already prevent interstate business travel.
There are some careers that will be jeopardized by a DUI arrest or conviction for reasons other than loss of the ability to excursion. Corporate officers, public figures, sports figures or employees with security clearances or those in sensitive locaiongs may find, if the matter comes to the attention of the media, that the impact of the resultant negative publicity is more damaging to the career than the actual “legal” consequences of a DUI. The author of this article has represented individuals so located. Such situations must be defended well and handled carefully, with the objective of preserving the career while minimizing possible legal consequences.