Skip to main content

How are ignition interlock violations dealt with?

Bellingham, WA |

My DUI was dropped to neg1 however I have ignition interlock required by the DOL. I'm worried because I had what I can only assume was a false positive (I blew but was the passenger and my friend was driving my car). I didn't have an the iil yet but I wasn't driving anyways. So what happens when smartstart reports this to th dol? Hearing with a judge, or the DOL or what? Is there even a chance to prove i didn't do anything wrong or do I automatically lose my license? For how long. There is zero info about this out there so I'm at a complete loss.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


You are correct that there is little information out there on the ignition interlock license (IIL) (which I am assuming you have--and assuming that is because you lost your DUI arrest DOL hearing or didn't apply for one). My understanding is that if you violate the requirements of the IIL, your IIL will be canceled and your underlying suspension or revocation remains in effect. The department is supposed to send you a notice that your IIL will be canceled in fifteen days from the date of the mailing of the notice of cancellation.

As to whether you would be allowed a hearing to contest the cancellation, there certainly are due process concerns involved. There is caselaw that indicates persons are entitled to hearings involving license suspensions /revocations, however, you may have waived that if you applied for an IIL. Bottom line is, I am not sure of the basis for your having an ignition interlock device in the first place, and without obtaining that background information and researching things in a bit more depth, i simply cannot give you a thorough and specific answer.

Moreover, the legislation concerning the IIL is piecemeal and poorly written. As such, the DOL has its own interpretation that may or not be accurate according to other interpretations.

As far as your particular situation, i think it was unwise to blow into the device as it is intended that the driver blow into it. Whether your action could possibly be construed to be circumventing the device (which is a crime itself) is not clear and perhaps you understood that no matter who would be driving that you had to blow into it. So an attorney would have to determine first, whether you are entitled to a hearing and second, whether you have a defense that would not get you into even hotter water if you testify to those facts.

Bottom line is, your situation requires lawyer. So in short, you can take whatever DOL gives you or you can hire a lawyer who can do the legal footwork necessary to determine what the statutes and case law require.

I am sure that you understand, but it bears saying, that by providing you with my thoughts here, I am not establishing any lawyer/client relationship with you. Certainly, if you wish to retain me I would be happy to talk with you about taking your case.

Good luck.


I agree with Ms. Medeiros Callahan, in Whatcom County these violations are normally dealt with like other probation violations and you and your lawyer shall appear at a hearing with the probation officer and the Court will make a finding on the record of the outcome of the hearing.
Good Luck