10. What is an ignition interlock?

An ignition interlock device is a hand-held breath-alcohol analyzer that connects to the ignition system of a vehicle. Before starting the car, the driver must complete a breath test verifying his or her Breath Alcohol Concentration to be below a preset limit. If the BAC test is at or above the pre-set limit the car will not start. There are safeguards built-into the device to prevent or detect unauthorized use or circumvention of the device. Most courts are now requiring the use of the device on any criminal conviction and on deferred prosecutions.

If a person is convicted of a violation of RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504 or an equivalent local ordinance, the court shall order that after a period of suspension, revocation, or denial of driving privileges, the person may drive only a motor vehicle equipped with a functioning ignition interlock or other biological or technical device.

The period of time of the restriction will be as follows:

-For a person subject to RCW 46.61.5055 (1)(b), (2), or (3) who has not previously been restricted under this section, a period of not less than one year;
-For a person who has previously been restricted under (a) of this subsection, a period of not less than five years;
-For a person who has previously been restricted under (b) of this subsection, a period of not less than ten years.

For purposes of this section, "convicted" means being found guilty of an offense or being placed on a deferred prosecution program under chapter 10.05 RCW.

 
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  © 2003 James Franzen. All Rights Reserved.