DO Fight your Ignition Interlock Violation Charge.
It is possible to successfully defend against an interlock violation criminal accusation. Our office has been successful in getting such criminal charges dismissed, or in instances where it was not possible, have the penalties significantly reduced.
There are three Ignition Interlock Device criminal charges in Washington, distinct from “violations”. Violations may trigger probationary review hearings and result in a longer period of time for the interlock device to be installed. The criminal charges are Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device, Circumventing an Ignition Interlock Device, and Assisting the Circumvention of an Interlock Device. These charges require the driver of a vehicle have an Ignition Interlock Requirement on his or her driving record.
Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device
Previously a Simple Misdemeanor, the criminal allegation of Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device was in September of 2013 reclassified as a Gross Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a $5000 fine.
A Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device charge requires that the Department of Licensing attach a notation on a person’s driving record that a person may operate only a motor vehicle equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device. This notation must be accurate.
Sample Result – Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device – reduced to simple infraction
Sample Result – Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device – Dismissed
Circumventing an Ignition Interlock Device
A person who is restricted to the use of a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device and who tampers with the device or directs, authorizes or requests another to tamper with the device, in order to circumvent the device by modifying, detaching, disconnecting or otherwise disabling it, may be charged with Circumventing an Ignition Interlock Device. This is also punishable as a Gross Misdemeanor.
Assisting the Circumvention of an Interlock Device
A person who knowingly assists another person who is restricted to the use of a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device to circumvent the device or to start and operate that vehicle in violation of a court order is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
However, this does not apply for the starting of a motor vehicle, or the request to start a motor vehicle, for safety checks or mechanical repair to the vehicle or interlock device, provided the person subject to an Interlock Requirement does not operate the vehicle.