Facing charges for DUI is no laughing matter; a DUI in Washington can follow you for life. If this is your first DUI charge, you may be interested in knowing that under Washington state laws, you may be required to install a device called an ignition interlock to drive your car if you are convicted for up to one year. This is a strong possibility if you do not have a strong DUI defense attorney to fight the charges against you.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
If you agreed to take the breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) when you were arrested, you can liken the ignition interlock device to this test, but for your car. An ignition interlock device (IID) is a contraption that is installed into your vehicle’s dashboard that you must blow into each time you wish to start the car. This device will not start if it detects even a small amount of alcohol; usually, your BAC cannot be higher than 0.02%-0.04%.
In addition, the IID requires you to take several breath samples at random throughout your journey. This is to prevent the driver from having another person who is not intoxicated from blowing into the device in his or her place. In the event that a breath sample exceeds the permitted range, or is not provided, the device logs the event, warn the driver, and start an alarm that may include flashing lights and honking the horn until the car is shut down or another sample is provided. The car itself is not automatically powered off if a clean sample is not provided because it would create a safety hazard if you were already on the road.
Do I need an IID for a First DUI?
Washington’s DUI laws are among the toughest in the nation. In the state of Washington, an ignition interlock device is required for all first time DUI offenders, regardless of their BAC at the time of arrest. Likewise, an IID is required for all persons who have refused to submit to BAC testing. If you refused the BAC test for the first time, you must keep the device fo a period of 1 year. If you have refused to submit to BAC testing twice, you need to keep the IID for 5 years. Refusing BAC testing three or more times leads to keeping an IID for 10 years.
This device is not cheap to install or maintain. You will have to take it back to the company that you selected to install it regularly for calibration. To avoid DUI penalties such as the Washington IID requirement, talk to an experienced DUI attorney like Daniel J. Murphy, Jr. to develop a strong case. Call (253) 312-6122 for a free legal consultation.