Am I Required To Install An Ignition Interlock Device If I Don’t Drive?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

I got a DUI in Washington state almost 2 years ago. Even though I don’t drive or own a car, they told me I still had to apply for an ignition interlock device at the DOL to satisfy that requirement. I did so, and also had a probation meeting that day to confirm I had applied for the IID. I had a probation meeting a year later, and my probation officer signed me up for a court date to “review my case, as it was still within the 1 year period” as she sheepishly put it, regarding the ignition interlock situation. After some research on the internet I discovered that they have just passed some new laws in WA stating that you can no longer choose to not drive; you have to either get an IID or get an ankle bracelet. Could I successfully argue that the supposed 1-year period has in fact passed now, and that they should not be able to come back on me with this? I found my receipt from the DOL with the date, and intend to bring this with me to court. I can’t afford a lawyer and the public defenders will not speak to you unless you have actually been arrested on new charges.

It is unclear what the 1-year period is that you are referring to. According to Washington State’s Department of Licensing website, your license can be suspended for up to four years after a DUI conviction. You are required to have an ignition interlock device in any car you drive. The device must remain installed for at least one year, and you will only have your license reinstated if you meet certain requirements for the previous four months. It sounds like you may have applied for and received the device, but did not have it installed. If that is the case, you may be successful in explaining that you do not own a car or drive, and that is why the device is not installed. You may need to bring proof that you do not drive, such as evidence of bus tickets or affidavits from people who provide you with transportation. Whether the DOL will still require you to have the device installed in a car you drive for a year before you are reinstated is unclear from the statute, and may be up to the discretion of the DOL or hearing officer.

Although you state that you cannot afford an attorney, you may want to consider consulting one who specializes in DUIs. Many offer free consultations and payment plans. Because you are seeking advice regarding a hearing and not challenging a DUI conviction, it may be more affordable than you think. You would also know that you have the best information possible. If that still does not seem financially feasible, be sure to ask a lot of questions as to what, exactly, is required and for how long. Try to get the answers in writing so that you can easily prove what information you were given.