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What should I know about an Ignition Interlock Driver License?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2021 | DUI |

The suspension of your driver’s license due to a DUI can upend your life. You lack the means to drive to your job, run errands or help your family. If you cannot find someone to drive you, the Washington State Department of Licensing explains there is a chance you may regain your driving privileges through the use of an Ignition Interlock Driver License.

You may drive with an IIL during the time of your regular license suspension provided you have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. If you are not familiar with an IIL, here are some basic facts that may help you understand what to expect and if you can successfully apply for an IIL.

When you may apply

In the event you receive a qualifying DUI offense, meaning nothing disqualifies you from applying for an IIL, there is no waiting time to apply. You may do so after a revocation hearing or even following your arrest. However, you must have a Washington state driver’s license or at least a valid driver’s license from another state. You will also have to fulfill certain tests and pay fees to complete your application.

Assistance to low income drivers

If you fear you cannot afford the costs associated with an IIL, you are not alone. Some drivers live on low wages and cannot pay all the requirements of an IIL. This is why the state of Washington offers help to drivers in impoverished situations. If you meet the poverty guidelines, you may apply for financial assistance that will reimburse your $80 per month fee, though you will still have to pay the remaining IIL costs.

Vehicles that require interlock devices

If you own more than one automobile, you may wonder if you have to put an interlock device on all of them. The state requirement is that you need a device on any vehicle you drive. This means if you refrain from driving a car you own, you do not need to install an interlock device inside of it.

The state also requires interlocking devices on vehicles you drive for work. However, this is only if your employer is the owner, renter or lessor of the vehicle or has temporary responsibility for its maintenance and care. If your employer signs an Employer Declaration for Ignition Interlock Exemption, the state may waive the necessity for an interlock device in your work vehicle.