Washington State alcohol ignition interlock law begins January 1st

The Washington State Department of Licensing along with the Traffic Safety Commission and State Patrol announced in a press release that the state’s new alcohol ignition interlock law is slated to go into effect on January 1st. The law allows drivers who have been convicted of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or those charged with the offense to continue driving under some circumstances if they pay to have an interlock device installed on their vehicle.

Chapter 204-50 of the Washington State code provides for ignition interlock breath alcohol devices.

A breath alcohol ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer which is installed on an automobile. Before a driver can begin driving, they must breathe into the device which analyzes their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the device detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

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Drivers who have been found guilty or have been charged with Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Homicide will not be eligible to install the device.

The Legislature and State Patrol believes that the technology will save lives. It deters drivers from drinking and driving while allowing people to resume some activities such as driving to school and work. The Patrol believe it is a useful tool to and will reduce the number of people injured and killed in alcohol related traffic accidents.

Drivers who have been found using another drug besides alcohol will not be allowed to use this device as it does not detect drugs.

Drivers whom the court imposes the device as a condition on their being allowed to drive must provide proof of insurance and pay for the device and its installation.

Every year in Washington State there are nearly 700 traffic fatalities and nearly 45% of those are alcohol-related. Drunk driving accidents leave victims seriously injured including paralysis and brain damage. Mothers Against Drunken Driving (MADD) endorse the interlock method in reducing the number of alcohol related crashes.

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one killed due to the actions of a drunken driver, you should contact The Farber Law Group. We are a law firm that specializes in personal injuries, especially those caused by drunken drivers. With offices in Bellevue and Seattle, Washington, we will work to help you recover compensation for your injuries and damages.

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