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Got in an accident and got charged with inattention to driving, but got license suspended a couple weeks later. Is DUI pending?

Bremerton, WA |

I was inebriated at the time, but possibly below the legal limit. It's been two months since the accident without mention of a DUI. Could it still be in the works, even with an initial charge already made?

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Attorney answers 6


Sounds like the police sent the report to DOL to take action on your license. If so, I would certainly expect you will get charged, most likely with DUI.
We can only give you possible answers until you actually call a lawyer and talk in person. With your name and the dates involved, a DUI lawyer can tell you exactly what is going on. I would not make any further mention of the facts of your case on a public website like this.


If the charge of DWLS (2?) that you got in the mail is from that same incident, or in other words, originated out of the same accident report, you should be in the clear on any potential DUI. What is often helpful is to have a local attorney call the Prosecuting Attorney's Office and just make sure there is nothing else pending. Best of luck.


It is possible that a DUI charge is in the offing. Please contact an attorney in your area who specializes in DUI defense. And dont make any other representations about the facts of your case online.


It sounds like you might have provided a breath test over the legal limit, which would trigger action by the Department of Licensing. The officer should have provided you information on how to request a hearing with DOL, but unfortunately you only had 20 days to do so. A potential charge of a DUI is very possible. Many times when you are arrested for DUI, the officer will cite you for an infraction, such as an Inattention, and you will still be charged later for a DUI by the prosecutor. Best thing to do is consult with a qualified and competent DUI attorney.


Did you submit to a breath test? If you did, and if the test was above the limit, the police would have sent the report to the department of licensing, which would start the suspension process. If you did not request a hearing with the department of licensing within 20 days, your license would have been automatically suspended in the 2nd degree. If this is the case, you can apply for an ignition interlock license so that you can still drive during the time of your suspension (unless you have a commercial license). The police report was also most likely sent to the prosecutor, who will make a charging decision on whether or not to charge you with a DUI. You should consider hiring an attorney to help you with this matter, as there could be further licensing consequences as well as possible jail time.

This answer is for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.


There is a two-year statute of limitation for the government to file charges for DUI. If you were arrested within an unincorporated county then it usually takes 2-6 months for the prosecutor to review the police report and file charges. In most Cities, the officer has the discretion to issue the citation for DUI and give you a court date; however, some Cities now require the officer to first file the police report with the prosecutor before a charging decision is made.

If this was an accident that involved injuries then this could be a more significant charge, such as Vehicular Assault and has a much greater statute of limitation range. I would be pro-active and take the time to consult with attorney rather than waiting by the mail to see if you get a court date.