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Washington State Ignition Interlock Law




  1. Starting January 1, 2009, Washington State initiated drastic changes to DUI related license suspensions that actually made it much easier, while more expensive, to obtain a drivers license during the course of the suspensions by initiating the new "Ignition Interlock License program".
  2. Starting January 1, 2009, Washington State reduced the time period for requesting an administrative hearing to contest the implied consent license suspensions, (totally separate from the criminal suspensions) from 30 days to 20 days from the date of arrest.
Starting January 1, 2009, Occupational licenses became a thing of the past, removing the waiting periods and the requirement for employer affidavits. Even refusals and people with multiple convictions will be able to get a new type of license called an "Ignition Interlock License," which upon application, allows you to drive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any reason without restriction if they file proof of interlock installation and SR22 insurance. (There is an exception for work vehicles so that you won't need to have an ignition interlock on them if your employer provides the DOL with a declaration). The DOL has information on their web site at on how to apply.IGNITION INTERLOCK LICENSES (IIL)

- Ignition Interlock Licenses are now available if your license has been suspended by the DOL for a DUI arrest or conviction, and having an IIL allows you drive 24 hours a day; 7 days a week without limitation (not just work).

- To receive an IIL you must apply with the Department of Licensing ( There is a $100 fee for the application, as well as a monthly fee of $20 to help defray the cost for indigent citizens. You will also need to have an ignition interlock on any vehicle you drive and SR 22 insurance before you can apply.

-As far as where to get your interlock device, there are many companies that lease these; Consult your attorney for recommendations.

-Should I still request an administrative hearing under RCW 46.20.308 within 20 days? And if I do, can I still apply for an IIL?

Absolutely. An experienced DUI attorney should be able to tell from the discovery process in your case if you are likely to prevail at the hearing and even if you have the hearing and fail to reverse the suspension, you are still eligible for the IIL. However, once you apply for the IIL you will lose the right to any further challenge to the suspension.

-When should I request an IIL?

You should request an IIL after speaking to an attorney and in his/her opinion it is determined that is the best course of action. DOL is at times horribly slow to process such applications so some planning and consideration needs to be made to try and prevent you from being without a license due to bureaucracy.

-Will I need an ignition interlock on my work vehicle?

While the regular IIL no longer requires an employer affidavit like the old occupational licenses did, if you are going to be driving an employer owned vehicle for work purposes, the employer must provide a declaration stating that your work requires you to operate a vehicle owned by the employer during working hours.

-How long will I need to have an IIL?

For the length of the suspension.

-What happens if I violate the terms of my IIL?

Violation of the terms of an IIL license is a criminal offense punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $250 fine.

-I have a Commercial Driver's License, can I drive my commercial vehicle with an IIL?

Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL's) are not covered by the new IIL law.


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