The State of Washington emphasizes alcohol treatment when necessary in connection with a Washington state or Seattle DUI arrest or conviction. However, it is not well known that even in the absence of a DUI conviction or a DUI arrest, the DOL will not issue a license to an individual who has been classified as an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser. Here is the text from the relevant statute:
The department shall not issue a driver’s license to a person:
(3) Who has been classified as an alcoholic, drug addict, alcohol abuser, or drug abuser by a program approved by the department of social and health services. The department may, however, issue a license if the person:
(a) Has been granted a deferred prosecution under chapter 10.05 RCW; or
(b) Is satisfactorily participating in or has successfully completed an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program approved by the department of social and health services and has established control of his or her alcohol or drug abuse problem;
Of course, the usual way that the Dept. of Licensing finds out about such problems is when someone is charged with a DUI. The good news is that, as the law states, the DOL will issue a license to such a driver who is alcoholic or an alcohol abuser, if they are in compliance with a treatment program.The rationale is, of course, public safety.
The problem is that this ends up becoming a pitfall for defendants who already have many hoops to jump through to satisfy the courts and DOL, especially when this consequence is not much talked about or mentioned.
It is not difficult to deal with however, as most defendants have already met the prerequisites in order to comply with the courts requirements. With the appropriate guidance from an attorney, getting ones license restored is can be simple as filing the proper paperwork.