| Q: What is an ignition interlock license?|
A: On January 1, 2009 there were sweeping changes brought about by new state laws that affect your right to drive a car if you have had, or might have, your license suspended because you have been convicted of a DUI or Physical Control or if your license was suspended pursuant to the Implied Consent Statute. You may be eligible to apply for an Ignition Interlock License.
With an Ignition Interlock License you will be able to drive a motor vehicle even though your license has been suspended for a DUI or Physical Control or if your license was suspended pursuant to the Implied Consent Statute but there are conditions, limitations and draw backs to an Ignition Interlock License.
Some of the conditions for obtaining and using an Ignition Interlock License include the following:
1) you must have a functioning ignition interlock device, except that under certain conditions you may be able to drive a vehicle owned by your employer;
2) you must have proof of SR-22 insurance or other proof of financial Responsibility; and
3) Unless you are declared an indigent you must pay an additional $20.00 monthly fee, in addition to the cost of installing and renting the ignition interlock device. This $20.00 fee is collected by the ignition interlock company and remitted to the Department of Licensing.
Once you get an Ignition Interlock License you need to be aware that there are limitations on its use:
1) you may not use an Ignition Interlock License to drive any vehicle which requires a Commercial Driver’s License;
2) The Ignition Interlock License may not be accepted in other states, territories or provinces so you would need to contact the authorities in other jurisdictions to determine if you can drive in their jurisdiction.
In addition to these conditions and limitations there is still another big drawback. If you are about to have their license suspended because violation of the implied consent law you have a right to a hearing to contest that suspension but under this new law (RCW 46.20.385(1)(b)) anyone receiving an Ignition Interlock License waives his or her right to a hearing or appeal under the Implied Consent Statute. In my opinion this is a unscrupulous effort by our state legislature to deprive you of your rights to equal protection of the law and access to a fair hearing and I am hoping that it will be held to be unconstitutional. None the less you can be certain that the Attorney General’s position will be that you have waived your right to a hearing and to an appeal if you apply for an Ignition Interlock License.
NEVER apply for an Ignition Interlock License with out first consulting with an attorney who is well versed in this complex area of law.
To find out more information from the Department of Licensing about the Ignition Interlock License you may visit the Department of Licensing’s website at www.dol.wa.gov and use the search feature (located in the upper right hand corner of the DOL’s home page) to search for Ignition Interlock License or cut and paste the following into the address line of your web browser
You can no longer get an occupational license after January 1, 2009 if your license was suspended because of a DUI or Physical Control. The new laws that went into effect after January 1, 2009 may allow you to get an ignition interlock license instead of an occupational license. A driver how has had their license suspended for another offense, reckless driving for example, may still be eligible for an occupational license.
| Q: What's This?|
A: It's a FAQ!
| Q: What are the penalties for DUI or Physical Control|
A: In the state of Washington the maximum penalties for a conviction for DUI or Physical Control are quite severe and include jail, fines, suspended license and more.
| Q: Why do I need an attorney?|
A: The judge is NOT your friend. I believe that most judges try very hard to be fair BUT it is NOT the judge’s job to try to figure out what possible defenses that you might have. It is NOT the judge’s job to make sure that you end up getting a good deal or win at a trial. That is your job.
The prosecuting attorney is NOT your friend. It is NOT the prosecutor’s job to make sure that you end up getting a good deal and if the case goes to a trial the prosecutor intends to try to make sure that you loose.
The judge is like the referee in a boxing match. The prosecutor is your opponent. Although the referee will try to make sure that it is a “fair fight” nonetheless he will still just stand and watch while one boxer pounds his opponent into the ground. If you go into court with out a good attorney you should expect to get beat up.
| Q: Should I wait till I get a notice of a court hearing before I hire an attorney?|
A: In some areas in the state the arresting officer will give you a notice advising you when you will need to go to court. In other areas of the state they will tell you will get a notice of a court hearing in the mail.
In either case you should hire an attorney immediately. You only have a short time to ask for a hearing with the Department of Licensing to try to avoid having your driver’s license will be suspended pursuant to the implied consent laws. The prosecutor has years to file criminal charges against you for DUI or Physical Control. Don’t procrastinate.
Furthermore, important evidence may be lost. The police and/or prosecutors have already started working on the case against you. You will get the best results if you hire an attorney immediately.
| Q: Is the information in this website as good as consulting with an attorney?|
The information contained in this website is to educate. Nothing in these pages should be relied on as legal advice. If you have been stopped for a DUI, whether or not you think that you have been, or will be charged with a DUI or other criminal or criminal traffic offense, you should consult a qualified DUI defense Attorney as soon as possible. Laws change frequently and the information provided in this website, or in the links to outside sources, is not guaranteed to be current. This website does not constitute legal advise and in not a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney who has had the opportunity to review all the facts of your case under the laws and regulations in effect at the time.
Q: I just want to get this over with, why can't I just plead guilty and be done with it?
A: Yes, you can plead guilty but you won’t be done with it. It would be a big mistake! You may hope that if you just go in and plead guilty the court is just going to impose a reasonable fine and let it go at that but it will not happen that way.
The judge will tell you to go get an alcohol evaluation and then come back for still another court hearing. Your license will be suspended and you will have to go to some sort of alcohol education or alcohol treatment program. You will have to attend a DUI victims panel. You will be stuck with high risk (SR-22 form) insurance. You will have to get an ignition interlock installed in any car that you drive. Yes, that means that you can not drive a friend's car unless it has an ignition interlock installed. You will go to jail.
There is more, much more. The judge will make you pay fines, fees, court costs, assessment, probation fees and restitution and more...