New as of January 1, 2009, is the Ignition Interlock License (ILL). This is a brand-new type of a license, never before seen in our state. Recall that an individual arrested for a DUI in Washington state may lose his license either administratively (without a court hearing — imposed by the Department of licensing even if you are found not guilty) or, alternatively, upon a conviction for DUI. The license suspension periods may range from 90 days to two years and beyond. Under previous law, an individual could apply for an occupational license which would permit driving to and from work, but there were required “waiting periods” during which time one was unable to drive for any purpose before the occupational license would be issued.
Under the new ignition interlock law, an individual apply for an “ignition interlock license” even before a suspension goes into effect, there is no “waiting period” before it is effective (although it may take weeks for DOL to process your application,) and there is no time/place limitation on driving. The end result is that, if everything works as advertised, there is no interruption in the driving privilege, so long as the individual drives a car that is equipped with an ignition interlock device. (There is an exception to the interlock requirement for employer-owned vehicles used by the employee for work purposes, however.)
There is much more to be said about the ignition interlock license and the 2009 new DUI law is fully discussed elsewhere on our website. However, the driver should be aware that if an ignition interlock license is requested, the right to “appeal” the administrative license suspension is waived.
So, what does an ignition interlock license look like? Is it just a mark on an otherwise normal looking license? Can you use it to cash a check or rent a car? How will it be perceived by the TSA agent when you are trying to board an airplane for a business trip or vacation? The ignition interlock license doesn’t look like the license you’ve seen before. To view it, click here.