Driving while intoxicated comes with serious penalties in Washington and other states. One of those penalties is license suspension. Depending on the circumstances, you may have your license suspended anywhere from 90 days to four years.

This is a long time to be without a driver’s license, especially if you work, go to school or have other obligations. Fortunately, there is a way in which you can still drive during your suspension period. If you meet the requirements, you can apply for an ignition interlock license.

With an ignition interlock license, you are restricted to driving vehicles that ignition interlock devices installed. They will need to be installed in all the vehicles you drive—even work vehicles. They cannot, however, be installed in commercial vehicles, so if you are a truck driver, you will not be able to work while your license is suspended.

Requirements for an Ignition Interlock License

To be eligible for an ignition interlock license, you must meet these three requirements:

  1. Your arrest or conviction must be for reckless driving, DUI involving drugs or alcohol, vehicular assault involving drugs or alcohol, or vehicular homicide involving drugs or alcohol.
  2. Your license is not suspended or revoked for minor in possession or habitual traffic offender charges.
  3. You have a valid (unexpired) Washington or out of state license.

When and How to Apply for an Ignition Interlock License

You can apply for an ignition interlock license immediately following your arrest. The first step is to get an ignition interlock device installed in your car. Note that you are responsible for the cost of installing the device, as well as the $20/month fee.

You will need to contact your auto insurer and get proof of insurance. You will then need to complete a Restricted Driver License Application. Submit this in person or via mail, along with the $100 fee, to the Washington State Department of Licensing. If approved, you will receive your license via mail or email.

Contact a Washington Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you were convicted of a DUI, you may be able to retain your driving privileges with an ignition interlock device. Contact the Washington criminal defense attorneys at The Nahajski Firm to learn more about your rights following a DUI conviction. We have nearly 40 years combined legal experience in representing clients in Seattle, Puget Sound, and surrounding areas. Find out more about how we can defend you. Call us at (206) 621-0500 or contact us online to request a free consultation today.