If you have been arrested or convicted of DUI or refused to consent to a blood or breathalyzer test, your driver's license may be automatically suspended by the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). The length of the suspension will vary based on the circumstances of your arrest and whether or not you have any prior DUI convictions or blood/breathalyzer refusals on your record.

Fortunately, however, if your driver’s license has been suspended, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to help you obtain a DUI restricted license. Contact our law firm today to discuss your case and to learn more.

DUI Restricted Licenses in Washington

A DUI restricted license can allow you to drive legally, even after your license has been suspended by the DOL. Under Washington law, a driver with a suspended license can petition the DOL for a DUI restricted license that will allow them to lawfully operate a motor vehicle under certain conditions.
There are two types of DUI restricted licenses available in Washington:

1) An Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL); and
2) An Occupational/Restricted License (ORL)

Both will allow you to drive to work, school, or to attend to certain obligations, even though your license has been suspended, but each with its own limitations and restrictions.

An Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL)

An Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL) will require you to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle. The IID is connected to the car's ignition and will prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on your breath.

The device is very similar to a breathalyzer test—you will blow into the device and it will measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is above the legal limit, the device will prevent the engine from starting.

If the result of the breath test is below the legal limit, the engine will start but will require you to submit "rolling retests" at certain intervals during the course of driving. If a sample is not provided or if you fail a rolling retest, an alarm will sound and continue until either the engine is turned off or a proper breath reading is provided.

The Requirements
Not every driver with a suspended license will qualify for an IIL. To be eligible, you must generally meet the following criteria:

1) Your arrest or conviction must be for DUI, physical control, reckless driving, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide and it must involve drugs or alcohol;
2) You must possess an unexpired Washington driver's license or an out of state driver's license; and
3) The suspension or revocation of your current license must not have involved a minor in possession charge or habitual traffic offender status.

Also, you will be required to pay fees to one of the private companies authorized by the state to rent you the IID and install it in your vehicle. Furthermore, you may be required to have the device installed in every vehicle you own (solely and jointly), not just your primary vehicle.

The monthly rental fees for an IID can range from $70 to $100, and the installation of the device typically costs from $100 to $200. Moreover, these costs do not include additional charges for maintenance and having the device calibrated.

An Occupational/Restricted License (ORL)

An Occupational/Restricted Driver License (ORL) will allow you to drive to work, school, court- ordered community service, substance abuse treatment, your healthcare provider, or to provide care to someone who is dependent on you. But, as it is with an IIL, not everyone with a suspended license will qualify for an ORL.

To be eligible for an ORL you must:

1) Have a valid Washington or out of state driver's license;
2) Show proof of financial responsibility, either by providing:

  1. An SR-22 insurance.certificate;
  2. A certificate of deposit of $60,000 from the State Treasurer' or approved collateral of equal value; or.
  3. A surety bond from an authorized source; and
  4. Submit an application along with a non-refundable fee of $100.

Furthermore, the suspension of your license must not, among other things, involved any of the following:

● A DUI arrest or conviction;
● A conviction for physical control (drug or alcohol-related);
● Minor in possession;
● Vehicular assault or vehicular homicide;
● Failure to pay child support;
● Fraud;
● Violation of court-ordered probation;
● Habitual traffic offender status;
● A failed medical or visual exam;
● A failed driver skills exam;
● A failure to attend required alcohol or drug treatment; or
● Canceled SR-22 insurance

Contact an Experienced Washington DUI Attorney

Both types of DUI restricted license are considered safe and trustworthy ways for judges and prosecutors to allow you to continue to drive after your license has been suspended for a DUI, while minimizing the risks you pose to yourself and others. That said, they can also be extremely costly and inconvenient.

This is one of the many reasons why if you have been arrested for DUI, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An experienced DUI attorney will be well versed in the law and can help develop a legal strategy to avoid a DUI conviction and/or suspension of your driver's license. Contact us today to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with an experienced Washington DUI attorney.


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1312 N Monroe St, Ste 147, Spokane, WA 99201 |  View Map


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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