New Ignition Interlock Driver’s License may let you keep driving after DUI arrest

Coming this January, you can keep your license after a DUI arrest if you agree to have an ignition interlock device in your car. Governor Christine Gregoire signed House Bill 3254 into law in April. While the new section creating the “Ignition Interlock Driver’s license” went into effect today, June 12, 2008, the rest of the changes won’t be effective until January 1, 2009.

After notification that your license will be suspended for a DUI, you will be able to apply to the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) for an Ignition Interlock Driver’s License for the period of the suspension. You will have to submit an application fee of $100, show that you have installed an operating ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and file proof that you have current SR-22 insurance. You will also have to agree to waive your right to a hearing to challenge the driver’s license suspension.

This is a big change in the law and will allow many people to keep working and supporting themselves and their families immediately after a DUI arrest. Currently, only an Occupational/Restricted License is available as an option after your license is suspended. But, it is not available to everyone and there can be a waiting period of up to 3 months. Also, you have to get your employer or other qualified person to certify that you need to drive.

Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have questions about whether you qualify now for an Occupational/Restricted License or how to get your license back after it was suspended for a DUI.