Washington, DC Ignition Interlock Information

A ignition interlock device is a device that is installed in a person’s car that requires the driver to blow in to the device and register below a certain level of breath alcohol content (BAC) in order for the vehicle to be able to start. The device will then also require periodic blows in to the machine while the car is on in order to ensure that the person’s BAC remains below that certain level in order for the person to be able to continue driving the car.

Ignition interlock devices will not automatically shut off a vehicle in motion if the driver provides a breath sample with an illegal alcohol level.  However, the device will store the obtained information, send that information to a designated court agency, and initiate an alarm sequence on the car that will not stop until the car’s ignition is turned off. In order to do your best to avoid this penalty, it is important you consult with a DC DUI ignition interlock lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Below is more you should know about the ignition interlock device and it’s use in Washington, DC DUI cases.

Is It Expensive to Have An Ignition Interlock Device Installed on Your Car?

Ignition interlock devices can be very expensive because the expense is all placed on the defendant for both the actual machine itself and for the installation and maintenance of the machine. It’s for that reason that judges in Washington DC are typically hesitant to require ignition interlock device installation in first offense cases.

Additionally, because there are so many first offenses and because first offenses don’t necessarily show a serious risk to the community in the same way that a second or third offense might, judges typically don’t like placing that financial burden on every single first time DUI offender.

However, when a person has more than one DUI conviction on their record, then people in that situation may be seen by the court as being a higher risk to the community and therefore, judges sometimes see it as more justifiable to place that financial burden on a person to ensure the safety of the people around them while that person is driving.

Can You Install An Ignition Interlock Device Instead of Getting A Restricted License?

In Washington DC, the DC DMV is the agency that is in control of driver’s license revocations and suspensions when a person is facing a DUI in DC Superior Court. So, the rules set up for when a person is permitted to have a restricted driver’s license are pre-determined.

Unfortunately, DC laws states that a person who has his license revoked due to a DUI is not eligible under any circumstances for a restricted license. That means that even if a person has an ignition interlock as part of their DUI case, it would not make a person eligible for a restricted driver’s license as part of the DUI.

Is There Any Benefit to Agreeing to Install An I.I.D.?

Many people would prefer to not have an ignition interlock device installed, however, sometimes agreeing to an ignition interlock device can be a way to prevent even more serious penalties as a result of a DUI.

As an example, if prosecutors are seeking significant periods of incarceration for a person convicted for a 3rd offense DUI, a defense lawyer can argue to a judge that a lower period of incarceration followed by an ignition interlock device is a more appropriate penalty to both punish to defendant and ensure the safety of the community without imposing excessive incarceration periods.

Even though an ignition interlock device is a burden, sometimes it’s a preferable burden over the possibility of longer periods of incarceration.

How Long Will An Ignition Interlock Be Required on My Vehicle?

The length of an ignition interlock order in Washington DC is completely at the discretion of the judge. As a condition of your sentence, They can require ignition interlock to be installed in your car for the entire duration of any probation period imposed, for only part of the probation period, or they can decide to not impose any interlock requirement at all. So it can very a great deal depending almost completely on the discretion of the judge.