DC DUI Ignition Interlock

Washington, DC, has a way for anyone who has a second or subsequent alcohol-related driving offense to have his or her driving privileges reinstated early. It’s called the DUI Ignition Interlock Device Program, and it allows a driver to operate a vehicle one year earlier as long as all the conditions for license reinstatement are met. He or she must also agree to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in each vehicle the driver plans to drive. The purpose of the IID is to ensure that you aren’t driving under the influence of alcohol.

If you are interested in this discretionary one-year reduction of your revocation period, contact a DUI lawyer to learn more. This will allow you to not make any mistakes when trying to retain your license via this program.

DUI Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device is a breath-alcohol analyzer attached to your vehicle’s ignition system. You are required to blow into the device to test your breath-alcohol level each time you start your vehicle. It can also require a breath sample at periodic times while you are operating your vehicle. If your breath-alcohol level is more than the accepted level set on your ignition interlock device, the vehicle won’t start.

Typically, you stay in the program for only a year. However, if you are charged with a DC DUI again during that time, the restriction will stay in place longer.

DUI Ignition Interlock Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements for the DUI Ignition Interlock program are outlined in D.C.’s Municipal Regulations. According to Title 18, section 311, you must:

  • Actually be eligible to have your driving privileges restored. In other words, you can’t have any current or pending license suspensions.
  • Complete over a year of your revocation period. If your revocation was for three years, then you must complete at least two years.
  • Apply for the Ignition Interlock program. The DMV has an application you complete.
  • Have the device installed in each vehicle you plan to drive. The installation must be done by a DMV-approved vendor. You are responsible for paying all charges, costs, and fees.
  • Have no conviction of causing death or injury to someone while operating a vehicle in DC or any jurisdiction.
  • Have no previous participation in the DUI Ignition Interlock program in the District or any jurisdiction within five years of your application.

If you are not a resident of the District of Columbia, you must meet other requirements to be eligible for the program. You must have proof of residency in DC or possess a valid out-of-state license with IID restriction and obtain a D.C. driver’s license. You also have other eligibility requirements that are quite complicated, such as obtaining a certified diving record issued within the prior month of being in the program. To learn more, talk to a lawyer about the DC DUI Ignition Interlock program for out-of-state drivers.

Warnings about DUI Ignition Interlock and the Program

It is your responsibility to know how to use the device and keep it maintained, however, the device can have a misreading even if it is calibrated correctly. The DC DMV requires monthly maintenance and reporting on your vehicle. You are required to pay for the cost associated with the maintenance. In fact, failure to comply with the program requirements regarding the maintenance will result in a revocation of your license.