Ignition Interlock Devices are effective tools to prevent drunken driving in Washington. While a court generally will not order a DUI offender to install an IID as part of a sentence, the state may allow you to voluntarily choose an IID as a means to retain your ability to drive.
Before making this decision, it is important to understand what adopting an IID entails and how to get it approved with the court.
Who can get an IID?
If you have a DUI or related conviction on your record, and a court has suspended your driver’s license, you may be able to install an IID to obtain restricted permission to drive during the suspension. You must have had a valid Washington driver’s license or valid out-of-state driver’s license before the suspension in order to qualify, and you must install the IID on all vehicles you drive. This may include your work vehicle unless you obtain an exception, or unless your employer leases the vehicle or takes full responsibility for it.
You generally cannot drive a commercial vehicle with a DUI or related suspension — even if you install an IID.
How can I apply for an IID?
If you wish to use this option to drive while you have a suspended license, make sure you qualify before investing in an IID. IIDs can be very expensive, and you are responsible to cover all fees related to an IID. A court will not cover this cost.
If you do qualify, you would need to find a valid IID installer and hire them to install one in your vehicle. They will provide documentation of the installation to the state.
Only then may you apply for an IID exception to drive. When you apply, be sure to provide the necessary evidence that you have qualifying car insurance, or the state may deny your application.