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Seattle - Bellevue DUI Attorney Lizanne Padula beats Washington State Department of Licensing DOL with their Catch 22

Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 by Blog Admin.

DOL in an effort to stop people from filing an appeal challenging the poor rulings of their hearing officers, has forced drivers to elect between pursuing a challenge to an incorrect suspension/revocation and an Ignition Interlock License (IIL). An IIL allows a suspended/revoked driver to drive as long as they have an Ignition Interlock Device, SR-22 insurance and a successful IIL application (with payment of $150.00). An appeal allows a driver to challenge a ruling by DOL and have a Superior Court Judge make the final decision. DOL has successfully lobbied for a law eliminating a Driver’s ability to get an IIL if they file an appeal with Superior Court.

Our client had a great issue and should have won her DOL hearing. The video from the Police Station clearly showed the Police Officer failing to read all of the Implied Consent Warnings. This should have been fatal to DOL’s license revocation. Unfortunately, DOL still ruled to uphold the revocation.

Now the client had a tough decision: pursue an honest and correct decision and not drive for a year or get the IIL and let DOL get away with a terrible and intellectually dishonest ruling. Our attorneys came up with a creative way to do both!

During an appeal of a DOL suspension, the License suspension/revocation remains in place unless you petition for a stay of the suspension/revocation. To get a stay granted, you need to prove that you are likely to prevail and that you will suffer irreparable harm from the suspension/revocation. The stay procedure had not been eliminated by the creation of the IIL. We could file the appeal, pursue the stay and, if we lost, we could withdraw the appeal and have our client get the IIL. This would allow us to have a Judge review the case and see if he/she agreed with our position. If the Judge agreed, the stay would be a good sign and it would let our client drive while the appeal proceeded. If the Judge disagreed we could retreat and withdraw the appeal. This would allow our client to get an IIL.

The client agreed not to drive for a couple weeks while we petitioned for the stay. We moved forward. Initially the Judge denied our motion for the stay, but a careful review of the Judge’s order showed us that she misunderstood the law. We swiftly filed a motion to reconsider and the Court reversed itself and ordered the stay!

Then the best thing happened! DOL, having been forced to face the fact that their ruling was flat-out wrong; conceded! Our client not only got her DUI rejected by the Prosecutor; (that is another story) she also had her license revocation reversed. Her driving record remains clean and clear.