COVID DUI COURT PROCESS
Beginning in March of 2020 law enforcement and courts have drastically altered how DUI cases enter the criminal justice system. It is our current expectation these procedures will continue throughout the end of 2020.
THE PRE-COVID PROCESS
Pre-COVID, a police officer would provide at least three documents to the driver following a DUI investigation:
- A Citation which would inform the driver of the charges, case number, and a date to appear in court
- A breath test form which would include the driver’s breath readings as produced by the Draeger breath test instrument
- An Administrative Hearing Request to inform the driver of their obligations to contact the Washington Department of Licensing (please see our Department of Licensing page for additional information and timeframes).
THE PROCESS TODAY
Post- COVID, district and municipal courts in Clark County moved to a remote video conference format using the “Zoom” application. As a result of this transition, law enforcement officers are no longer scheduling a driver’s Arraignment. Instead, they are forwarding the Citation and case information to a Prosecuting Attorney to work with the assigned court to schedule an Arraignment over Zoom. A driver will be contacted through the mail with a Summons setting the Arraignment date and time. The timeframe between a driver’s DUI incident and the Arraignment has varied from a few weeks to a month depending on the court system and the respective prosecutor’s office.
For driver’s awaiting a Summons, it is extremely important to ensure the appropriate court has the correct mailing address—this is particularly the case if your Driver’s License does not have your current mailing address on it. For drivers stopped by a Washington State Patrol Trooper, Clark County Sheriff, or Vancouver Police officer, you should verify your address with Clark County District Court. For drivers stopped by the Camas or Washougal Police, you should verify your address with the Camas/Washougal Municipal Court. Finally, for drivers stopped by a Ridgefield, La Center, or Battle Ground Police Officer, contact the Battle Ground Municipal Court. Most court web pages have additional information about appearing via Zoom for court proceedings.