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Ignition Interlock is Mandatory for Washington State DUI

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Nov 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

If you get busted for DUI in Washington State, you can expect to face more than just fines and license suspension. In a worst case scenario, you may receive jail time for a conviction, but even if you aren't sentenced to hard time, you will still face an array of other serious consequences. Case in point: the ignition interlock device, also known as the breath alcohol ignition interlock device.

If you receive a Washington State DUI conviction you will face a mandatory ignition interlock.  At your own expense. These devices are also required of anyone who loses his or her administrative hearing and wishes to drive during the period of suspension with an Ignition Interlock License.  DUI convictions are on the rise, and the State of Washington is adamant about reducing impaired driving. But the ignition interlock technology is still somewhat new, and in fact, 2012 is the first year that all 50 states have used the device.

When an ignition interlock is required as part of a DUI sentencing or negotiation, the device is installed on the dashboard of the offender's vehicle. Whenever the DUI suspect wishes to start the car, he or she must first exhale into the device. If the IID detects a blood alcohol higher than .025, the device prevents the engine from starting.

The intention is to prevent known drunk drivers from having the ability to operate their vehicles while intoxicated, and in fact, IIDs will also demand random breath checks while the vehicle is in motion. This is meant to discourage motorists from starting up their vehicle and then drinking while driving. If the driver fails one of these random tests, the vehicle emits an alarm until it is either turned off or a clean sample is registered.

Of course, these devices are not without criticism. According to one review of these devices:

The results of the study show that interlock works for some offenders in some contexts, but not for all offenders in all situations. More specifically, ignition interlock devices work best when they are installed, although there is also some evidence that judicial orders to install an interlock are effective for repeat DUI offenders, even when not all offenders comply and install a device.California's administrative program, where repeat DUI offenders install an interlock device in order to obtain restricted driving privileges, is also associated with reductions in subsequent DUI incidents. One group for whom ignition interlock orders do not appear effective is first DUI offenders with high blood alcohol levels.

Have you been charged with DUI in the Seattle area? Call the Seattle DUI attorneys at Wolff Defense today to discuss your case. Our Washington State DUI attorneys have years of experience successfully fighting DUI cases, and we are fully committed to our clients. Call us today at 425-284-2000.

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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