Several years ago, the Legislature recognized the difficulties created for people when their licenses were suspended as a result of a DUI. In response, they created the Washington ignition interlock license (IIL) that allows people to drive during their suspension, and at the same time protect the public from the dangers of drinking and driving.
Qualifying For A Washington Ignition Interlock License
If your license is suspended as a result of a DOL hearing or a DUI conviction, a Washington ignition interlock license allows you to drive unrestricted (in other words, not limited by time, geographic area or purpose) during the period of suspension. In order to qualify you must:
- Maintain the SR-22 insurance during the period of suspension;
- Install and maintain an ignition interlock device in any vehicle they drive during the period of suspension (the only exception is for vehicles owned by an employer and driven solely for employment purposes, however a interlock must still be installed in a personal vehicle to qualify for this exception);
- Have a valid driver’s license (it must not be expired, and if issued from another state DOL may require some additional steps);
Of course, you will also have to apply for a Washington ignition interlock license and pay a $100 fee to DOL. Here is the Washington Ignition interlock license application.
Work Vehicle Exemption
What happens if you need drive work vehicles? The good news is that there is a work vehicle exemption if you need to drive employer-owned vehicles for employment purposes. This allows you to drive your work vehicles during working hours without an ignition interlock. The big caveat is that if you have a commercial drivers license, neither a Washington ignition interlock license nor the work vehicle exemption will allow you to drive commercial vehicles. For more information about that, our page on Washington CDL holders should be helpful.
The DOL process can be complicated and there are many opportunities for mistakes along the way. We can help you work through the process. Please call if you have questions about your license, the ignition interlock license, or anything else related to your driving privileges.