There are many consequences to DUI convictions including the requirement to install an ignition interlock device on a vehicle for a period of time. In the State of Washington, an ignition interlock device refers to a breath alcohol analyzing instrument connected to a car's ignition. It is designed to prevent people from driving cars after they have consumed alcohol. Under Washington Law, if a person is convicted of DUI, they must have their car fitted with an ignition interlock device. Before a driver can start the engine, he or she must blow into the ignition interlock device. The ignition interlock device tests the driver's breath for the presence of alcohol. If more than a certain amount of alcohol is present in the sample, the car won't start.
Length of Ignition Interlock Device Requirement
The length of time a person must use an ignition interlock device depends on the type of conviction and the person's prior criminal traffic history. If a person had a prior DUI conviction, the court is required to order an IID while the case is pending.
Removal of Ignition Interlock Devices
Once the appropriate length of time has passed, drivers can have their ignition interlock device removed from their vehicle. The device cannot be removed until the ignition interlock company provides notification to the court and/or the Department of Licensing that the following terms and conditions have been met:
- The last six consecutive months have passed without any attempt to start the car while the driver had a breath alcohol concentration of .040 or higher;
- The driver took and passed all the required retests; and
- The driver cooperated and appeared as requested by the ignition interlock vendor when asked to do so for ignition interlock device maintenance, repair, calibration, monitoring, inspection and/or replacement of the device.
Tampering with the Ignition Interlock Device is Illegal
Washington State law prohibits drivers from modifying, detaching, disconnecting, or otherwise attempting to disable the device so they can drive their car without using the ignition interlock. The law also prohibits drivers from asking others to do the same. When a driver either directly or with the assistance of another person engages in such conduct, it is a new criminal offense. Found under RCW 46.20.750, the offense is known as circumventing ignition interlock and is punishable by up to 364 days in jail.
Driving a Car Without an Ignition Interlock Device
Driving a vehicle not equipped with a court-ordered IID is a gross misdemeanor under RCW 46.20.740. Under no circumstances should a person drive a car without an ignition interlock device during the time they are suspended, revoked, or canceled due to a DUI.
Understanding DUI Penalties
There are a number of penalties associated with DUIs. These penalties may include a fine, jail time, suspension, revocation, or cancellation of driving privileges, requirements for an ignition interlock device on your car, and in especially serious cases, the requirement to wear a SCRAM bracelet. To fully understand the potential consequences of a DUI conviction, contact the Pewitt Law, PLLC. Attorney Sheri Pewitt has extensive experience representing people on DUI charges. From constitutional challenges to expert testimony at trial, Sheri Pewitt knows how to evaluate DUI cases and provide vigorous representation for her clients. There are some time limits associated with the defense of and challenges to DUI cases. Don't wait. Contact the Pewitt Law today either online or at 206-941-0009 to discuss your case.