Washington State Ignition interlock laws – Washington State has some of the strictest driving under the influence (DUI) laws in the country. If you have been convicted of a DUI, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. The IID is a breathalyzer that prevents your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. Navigating the ignition interlock laws in Washington State can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. However, it is essential to understand the laws and regulations to avoid any further legal issues and to get back on the road safely and legally.
In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will provide you with everything you need to know about Washington State’s ignition interlock laws, including who is required to install an IID, how to get one, and what to expect during the installation process. So, buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of ignition interlock laws in Washington State.
Understanding Ignition Interlock Laws In Washington State
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in Washington State. The state’s DUI laws are among the strictest in the country, and if you are convicted of a DUI, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. The IID is a breathalyzer that prevents your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath.
According to Washington State law, an IID is required for all individuals who have been convicted of a DUI. The length of time that the IID is required varies depending on the severity of the offense and the number of previous convictions.
It is important to note that Washington State has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving for individuals under the age of 21. If you are under the age of 21 and are caught driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, you may be required to install an IID.
Who Is Required To Install An Ignition Interlock Device?
As mentioned earlier, all individuals convicted of a DUI in Washington State are required to install an IID in their vehicle. This includes both first-time offenders and those with multiple DUI convictions.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Washington State, you will be required to install an IID in any vehicle that you own or operate. This includes personal vehicles, work vehicles, and even vehicles that you borrow from someone else.
It is important to note that if you refuse to install an IID, your driving privileges may be suspended or revoked. Additionally, if you are caught driving without an IID when one is required, you may face additional fines and penalties.
How Does An Ignition Interlock Device Work?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer that is installed in your vehicle. Before you can start your car, you must blow into the device. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, your car will not start.
In addition to requiring a breath sample before starting the car, IIDs require periodic breath samples while the car is in operation. This is to prevent individuals from having someone else blow into the device to start the car and then drink while driving.
The IID is also equipped with a camera to ensure that the person blowing into the device is the same person who is driving the car.
Installation And Maintenance Requirements For Ignition Interlock Devices
If you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle, you must have it installed by a state-approved vendor.
The installation process typically takes a few hours and involves installing the device in your car and calibrating it to your specific breath pattern.
Once the IID is installed, it must be calibrated and serviced regularly to ensure that it is working properly. You will be required to bring your vehicle to the vendor for regular maintenance, which typically includes recalibration and checking for any issues with the device.
It is important to note that you must not tamper with or try to bypass the IID. This can result in additional fines and penalties.
Penalties For Ignition Interlock Violations
If you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle and are caught driving without one, you may face additional fines and penalties. The penalties for ignition interlock violations in Washington State can be severe and may include:
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Additional jail time
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Extension of the IID requirement period
It is important to take the IID requirement seriously and to ensure that you are in compliance with all laws and regulations.
Applying For An Ignition Interlock License
- To apply for a restricted driver’s license, you can complete the process online using License eXpress. However, if you reside out of state, please use the “Restricted Driver License Application” form. It’s important to note that the Department of Licensing (DOL) will not issue the license until the day of the suspension. At that point, you will need to visit a DOL office in person to collect a temporary license. Therefore, remember to check your License eXpress account on the day your license is due to be suspended for any updates.
- It is necessary to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. To arrange this, you must schedule an appointment with an ignition interlock provider from the approved list maintained by the Washington State Patrol.
- Obtaining SR22 insurance is also required. It is advisable to contact your insurance company first to inquire about SR22 coverage. If your current provider does not offer it, you can consider contacting insurance companies such as Progressive or Vern Fonk, who do provide SR22 insurance.
Please note that the DOL will not grant an Ignition Interlock License (IIL) until the IIL application is submitted with a $100 payment, and proof of ignition interlock installation and SR22 insurance is on file with the DOL. If the DOL does not receive proof of the ignition interlock device and SR22 insurance within 30 days of receiving the IIL application, they will deny the IIL request.
Work Vehicle Exception
If this declaration is submitted to the DOL, no ignition interlock device is necessary for automobiles used for work. Rental cars are included in this. You must install an ignition interlock on at least one vehicle in order to obtain an ignition interlock license, regardless of the circumstances.
How Long Is The Ignition Interlock Device Required?
The length of time that you are required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle varies depending on the severity of the offense and the number of previous convictions.
For a first-time offense, the IID requirement period is typically one year. For second and subsequent offenses, the IID requirement period may be longer.
It is important to note that the IID requirement period may be extended if you violate any laws or regulations related to the IID.
Costs Associated With Ignition Interlock Devices
Installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device (IID) can be expensive. You will be responsible for all costs associated with the IID, including:
- The cost of the device
- Installation fees
- Monthly maintenance fees
- Calibration fees
The total cost of an IID can vary depending on the vendor and the length of time that the device is required.
Common Misconceptions About Ignition Interlock Devices
There are several misconceptions about ignition interlock devices (IIDs) that are important to address.
One common misconception is that IIDs are easy to bypass or tamper with. However, IIDs are designed to be tamper-proof and are equipped with cameras to ensure that the person blowing into the device is the same person who is driving the car.
Another misconception is that IIDs are only required for individuals with high blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. However, IIDs are required for all individuals convicted of a DUI in Washington State, regardless of their BAC level.
FAQs About Washington State Ignition Interlock
The Washington State Ignition Interlock program is designed to enhance road safety by preventing impaired drivers from operating their vehicles. If you have questions about this program, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to provide you with the information you need.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?
An Ignition Interlock Device is a breathalyzer-like device installed in a vehicle that measures the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). It prevents the vehicle from starting if the BrAC exceeds a predetermined level.
Who is required to have an IID in Washington State?
In Washington State, individuals convicted of certain DUI offenses are required to have an IID installed in their vehicles. The specific requirements vary depending on the offense and the number of prior convictions.
How long is the IID requirement in Washington State?
The length of time you are required to have an IID depends on the offense and the number of prior convictions. Generally, it ranges from one year to ten years. Repeat offenders may face longer IID requirements.
How do I get an IID installed?
To get an IID installed, you must contact a state-approved ignition interlock service provider. They will guide you through the process, including installation, maintenance, and monitoring of the device.
How much does an IID cost?
The cost of an IID can vary depending on the service provider and the specific device. You are responsible for the installation, monthly lease fees, and any necessary maintenance. The average cost can range from $70 to $150 per month.
Can I drive any vehicle while using an IID?
No, you are only allowed to drive vehicles equipped with an IID during the period specified by the court or licensing authority. If you drive a vehicle without an IID, it may lead to further legal consequences.
Can someone else drive my vehicle if it has an IID installed?
Yes, others can drive your vehicle if they are sober. However, they will also be subject to the IID requirements and must provide a clean breath sample to start the vehicle.
Can an IID be tampered with or circumvented?
Ignition Interlock Devices are designed with anti-tampering mechanisms to prevent misuse. Attempting to tamper with or circumvent the device is illegal and may result in penalties, including extended IID requirements or even license suspension.
What happens if I fail a breath test on the IID?
If you fail a breath test on the IID, the device will record the event and may enter a temporary lockout period, preventing the vehicle from starting. Additionally, the violation will be reported to the court or licensing authority.
Can the IID malfunction or produce false readings?
While IIDs are generally reliable, malfunctions and false readings can occur. It’s important to have your device serviced regularly to ensure accurate measurements. If you believe your IID is malfunctioning, contact your service provider immediately.
Can I remove the IID before the required period ends?
Removing the IID before the required period ends is not allowed. Doing so may result in additional penalties and could extend the IID requirement. You must complete the full duration as mandated by the court or licensing authority.
Will the IID record my driving data?
Yes, IIDs record data such as breath test results, the engine starts and stops, and any attempts to tamper with the device. This data is regularly transmitted to the service provider and may be accessed by the court or licensing authority if required.
Will having an IID affect my insurance rates?
Having an IID requirement on your record may affect your insurance rates. It’s recommended to consult with your insurance provider to understand how it will impact your policy.
What happens if I move to another state while under the IID requirement?
If you move to another state while under the IID requirement, you must comply with the laws of your new state. You should contact the appropriate authorities to determine if your IID requirement will continue in the new jurisdiction.
Can I get an exemption from the IID requirement?
Exemptions from the IID requirement are granted on a case-by-case basis and require court approval. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in DUI cases can provide guidance on whether an exemption may be possible in your situation.
Navigating Washington State’s ignition interlock laws can be confusing and overwhelming, but it is essential to understand the laws and regulations to avoid any further legal issues and to get back on the road safely and legally. If you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle, it is important to take the requirement seriously and to ensure that you are in compliance with all laws and regulations. Remember, an IID is not a punishment but a tool to help keep you and other drivers on the road safe.