Smile, if you can, you’re on ignition interlock

The in basket: Back on Dec. 31, I was included in the routing of a State Patrol news release that began thusly:

“Alcohol ignition interlocks in Washington will soon have a feature designed to prevent others from performing breath tests for the driver. Starting Jan. 1, a camera will snap a picture every time the machine is used, verifying that the driver is the person who took the test.

“Interlocks are required on the vehicles of those who’ve been accused or convicted of impaired driving. The machine requires a legal breath sample from the driver before allowing a car to start.”

It seemed like a smart idea, but I was skeptical of the second paragraph. I doubted that use of the interlocks was that widely required, and certainly not routinely of people who hadn’t been convicted.

I asked State Trooper Russ Winger if that paragraph was correct.

The out basket: Russ said that Claire Bradley in the Kitsap County prosecutor’s office would be a better person to ask about the nuts and bolts, but took a stab at an answer.

“They can be ordered by the court for any DUI conviction or deferred prosecution case,” he said. “I think they are being ordered more frequently on first offenders in Kitsap  County – if not all now.

“Any DUI with a BA (blood alcohol reading) of .15 or higher is usually automatic for at least one year. Second and third offenses increase the time that the interlock may be required – up to two or three years – as well as increasing fines and the probationary period,” he said.

As he suggested, I next went to Claire  Bradley, chief deputy prosecutor for Kitsap, who told me that on cases with an accusation but no conviction with the case pending, “the court has discretion to impose (an interlock) on any case. General guidelines are that if have there are any alcohol-related driving convictions in the past, a BAC (breathalyzer reading) above .15 or a refusal of BAC, the court will order installation of an IID as a condition of release. The court can certainly order on any case not involving these facts, but generally these are the cases they will order on.”

“There is a license suspension on any conviction for a DUI,” she said. “So, once convicted, the court tells the defendant their license will be suspended (if not already suspended).

The court also advises the defendant that they are required to apply for an ignition interlock license with the Department of Licensing. So, they are required to go to the DOL, follow DOL’s suspension rules and if qualified, they can get an Ignition Interlock License for the period of their suspension.

“Suspension periods range from 90 days (on first time DUI, under .15 BAC) to four years and beyond (multiple priors and over .15 or refusal).”

Auto Safe in Silverdale does a lot of the installations here, and David Ray of their office said there is a monthly fee to have an interlock, and the camera requirement added $20 to that.

It now starts with $97.61 to have the device, plus $7 monthly to insure it, plus $10 every 60 days to WSP,  plus $20 every month to support a DOL program that helps pay the costs of an interlock device for anyone who meets a threshold as an indigent. There’s also a $95 installation fee the company waives if the device is kept for over a year, he said.

7 thoughts on “Smile, if you can, you’re on ignition interlock

  1. Alcohol ignition interlocks with Cameras are a Great way to keep Drunk Drivers off the road but what about the Marijuana Use while driving. Couldn’t an Ignition Interlock with a Camera keep them off the roads as well.

    I think it is a good idea to Mandate that anyone who is a Medical Marijuana Card hold or has a Drug Prescription know to cause blackouts should also be required to have an Ignition Interlock installed on there vehicles as well. This should reduce the number of traffic accidents as a result of Drug Prescription known to cause blackouts.

  2. I do hope this information in this article is used to convince a would be driver, who has been drinking, or using any kind if drug, that calling a for a cab, or a friend for a ride, is way less expensive, than paying for an IID every month!

  3. $10 goes towards indigents who can’t afford the interlock? They can afford to buy the liquor but they can’t afford the interlock? Sheesh. Just another ripoff of those who have EARNED income.

  4. plus $20 every month to support a DOL program that helps pay the costs of an interlock device for anyone who meets a threshold as an indigent.

    This sentence caught my attention and made me a little upset. If you can afford to drink and drive, then you can afford to pay the consequences on YOUR OWN. I am very upset that the state assists in this in anyway

  5. The $10.00 that goes to the WSP is to cover their cost to administer the interlock program. The DOL program is funded at no cost to taxpayers.

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