If you've been arrested for DUI in Washington, your driving privileges might be able to be reinstated through the use of an ignition interlock device.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?
Following the loss of one's license due to driving under the influence, a person may be able to obtain an Ignition Interlock Driver's License that allows the person to drive as long as an ignition interlock device is installed in their vehicle. Washington statute defines an ignition interlock device as a "breath alcohol analyzing ignition equipment or other biological or technical device . . . designed to prevent a motor vehicle from being operated by a person who has consumed an alcoholic beverage." The device uses fuel cell technology to measure the amount of alcohol in a person's breath. If a person's breath alcohol content is 0.025 or more, the device will not allow the vehicle to start.
In addition to measuring a person's breath alcohol content (BAC), the device is also capable of:
- Taking a photo of the person giving the breath sample and recording the time that the breath sample was taken; and
- Providing GPS coordinates at the time of each breath test, which is downloaded by the IID manufacturer and made available to Washington police.
Although an IID can give a person charged with DUI a chance to drive again, a major drawback of having to install such a device is the cost. Applying for an Ignition Interlock Driver's License costs $100, but this is not the only charge associated with the device--a person must then pay for installation of the device and monthly use of the device.
Ignition Interlock Device Laws in Washington
A person who wishes to regain his or her driving privileges following a conviction of DUI must use an IID for a period of time before the reinstatement of a driver's license is possible. The time requirement for the use of an ignition interlock device varies depending on how many times a person has been convicted of an alcohol-related offense in the past.
- First conviction: minimum IID use for one year.
- Second conviction:minimum IID use for five years.
- Third or subsequent conviction: minimum IID use for ten years.
If a driver fails to pass an IID test, or if the person attempts to start the vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 or higher, he or she may be denied a reinstatement of their license.
A person who is subject to an ignition interlock device in their vehicle must also have the device regularly maintained, inspected, and calibrated. Failure to do so can result in a denial of the person's license reinstatement.
Arrested for DUI in Washington? We Can Help
If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in Seattle or another surrounding area of Washington, it's important to act quickly in obtaining the representation of a competent DUI defense attorney. Steve Karimi is dedicated to helping those who are facing a DUI defend against their charges as thoroughly as possible. To schedule a consultation to speak with Steve Karimi about your charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (206) 621-8777 today.