Will I Have to Get an Ignition Interlock for a DUI Offense in Washington State?

Information on What the Ignition Interlock Device Laws are in the Evergreen State of WA

All cities across the state of Washington including Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Vancouver have the same DUI rules and WA Ignition Interlock regulations governing the criminal act of drinking and driving. Those individuals who are found to be driving a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher will be arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Being convicted of DUI carries many penalties for those who are found guilty, which includes but is not limited to a driver’s license suspension, possible jail time, fines, and the possibility of having to use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).

Ignition Interlock for a DUI Offense in Washington StateResearch has been conducted on the effects of alcohol and how alcohol impairs an individual’s ability to drive. Studies have shown that the majority of drivers with BACs of 0.05 percent were too impaired to drive and all drivers with BACs of 0.08 percent were too impaired to drive. It is this research that has guided most states to adopt a 0.08 percent BAC as the threshold for being charged with drinking and driving related charges. Additionally, the state of Washington charges commercial vehicle drivers with DUI should their BAC be 0.04. Due to the higher costs and penalties of the new laws passed, it is essential that any driver who gets arrested for a DUI charge in Washington State, have their arrest information examined online with us for help as soon as possible. By taking this necessary action early on in fighting a driving under the influence case, it can drastically increase the chances of keeping your driver’s license, as well as avoid the Ignition Interlock device requirement in WA.

What Are Some of the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Washington?

The penalties for being convicted of DUI in the state of Washington are many and varied – this approach helps discourage offenders from committing a drinking and driving related crime again and also acts as an example for other individuals by alerting them of the consequences of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. First time DUI offenders, or those with no previous DUI convictions on their record, face the following penalties:

  • 24 Hours to One Year in Jail
  • Fines Between $865.50 and $5,000
  • WA Driver’s License Suspension of 90 Days to One Year
  • The car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device is Required

A repeat or 2nd time DUI offense in WA, or those convicted of DUI in the past, face much harsher penalties than first time offenders. The state of Washington is currently enforcing a seven year “look-back period” or period of time in which prior DUI convictions are relevant to the sentencing of an offender’s current offense – this is also called a “washout period.” Second time DUI offenders, or those with one previous DUI conviction on their record within the last seven years, face the following penalties:

  • 30 Days to One Year in Jail
  • Fines Between $1,120.50 to $5,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension of Two Years to 900 Days
  • An Ignition Interlock Will Need to be Installed For a Time Period of at Least 1 Year

Third time DUI offenders, or those with two previous DUI convictions on their record within the last seven years, face the following penalties:

  • 90 Days to One Year in Jail
  • Fines Between $1,970.50 to $5,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension of Three Years to Four Years
  • IID Use Required

What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work Under New Washington State Laws?

An Ignition Interlock device is often used as a required penalty for being convicted of DUI, under what the strict new laws are in Washington State. This car Breathalyzer device is used when offenders’ driver’s license suspension periods have ended or when they wish to have their driving privileges reinstated. An IID works the same as a Breathalyzer test device, and is mounted inside the vehicle of a DUI offender and also integrated with the vehicle’s ignition system. When offenders wish to start their vehicle, they need to blow into the device to provide a breath sample – should this sample register above the programmed threshold, usually a 0.02 percent BAC, the vehicle is not able to start.

In some cases, the Interlock can also be programmed to require random retesting after the vehicle has started – this is meant to prevent a third party from providing the initial sample and allowing the offender to drive intoxicated. When drivers are prompted, they need to blow into the device to provide the sample to be retested. Should this sample register above the programmed threshold, an alarm sounds, alerting the driver the vehicle needs to be pulled over and turned off, and the event is then logged in the device’s internal memory. The IID does not stop or shut off the vehicle automatically, as this could put the driver, any passengers, and other drivers in danger.

When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Washington?

The state of Washington has approved the use of IIDs for certain drivers who have been found guilty of drinking and driving related crimes including DUI. Courts and criminal court judges can approve the use of an IID under the following 3 common conditions in order to have an offender’s driving privileges reinstated:

  1. First time DUI offenders can be ordered to use an IID for a period of one year.
  2. Second time DUI offenders can be ordered to use an IID for a period of five years.
  3. Third time DUI offenders can be ordered to use an IID for a period of 10 years.

Who Will Have to Pay for the Total Costs of the WA Ignition Interlock Device?

In the majority of WA DUI cases where offenders are ordered to use an Interlock device in order to get a driver’s license back, they are responsible for having to pay for all the costs associated with the device. These costs often include leasing the device, having the device installed, and having the device maintained during period of use. Individuals can expect to pay between $70 and $120 a month to lease their IID and an additional $100 in order to have the Interlock installed. Remember – these fees are just cost estimates and some IID providers may charge more or less.

What is the Process of Getting an Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Washington State?

Once the court has approved a WA DUI offenders to have a car Breathalyzer Interlock mounted on their car in order to have their driving privileges reinstated, they need to complete the process of leasing and installing the device in their vehicle and possibly any other vehicle registered in their name. Offenders need to lease their Ignition Interlock from a state approved IID provider – these providers can be found all over the state, and a full list of these IID providers can be found on the Washington State Patrol website.

After the device has been leased, a driver will need to ensure it is installed to the state’s standards – many state approved Interlock providers are also approved to install the devices. Once this is completed, offenders may need to report back to their probation officer, the court, or the DMV and provide those groups with a copy of the IID lease agreement and a copy of the receipt of installation. At this time, the Washington DMV restores offenders’ driver’s licenses under the condition that they actively use the IID. When a WA Ignition Interlock attorney reviews a driver’s own arrest scenario online with us, they will then be able to use this information to evaluate which potential DUI defense strategies are best to use for options how to avoid having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:

[column col=”1/4″]Adams County
Asotin County
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[column col=”1/4″]Covington
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[/column]

[column col=”1/4″]Lyman
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[/column]

[column col=”1/4″]Seattle
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[/column]

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