The short answer is that you probably don’t. The reason is that the State of Washington has certain statutory requirements and, additionally has additional time enhancements if a child in the vehicle. In most cases, if you have a DUI or Physical Control conviction or plea, you will be required to have an IID for at least one year. Additionally, if you are charged with reckless or negligent driving within 7 years of another alcohol-related driving offense, you can be required to put in an IID for the new non-DUI charge.
While some states have exemptions that help avoid the installation of an ignition interlock device, Washington only has the Employer Exemption. The vehicle can’t be for commuting and the employer must fill out the declaration. This is not an option for those with a CDL. However, if you are not a professional driver but drive a work vehicle during work hours, this can be an option to keep your job.
Many people struggle with the upfront costs of an ignition interlock device and it is possible you may be able to seek financial assistance for reimbursement. This option is through the Department of Licensing. You will need to fill out their financial assistance form and they will determine if you qualify based on indigency. As assistance you can refer to the DOLs indigent guidelines chart.
2020 poverty guidelines for Washington State
|People in Family / Household||Annual Income||Monthly Income|
• For families/households with more than 8 people: add $5,600 annually, or $467 monthly, for each additional person.
Source: Washington DOL
There is one other option for those who qualify for a Tolling Medical Exemption. This is not really an exemption that allows you to drive, like the Employer Exemption, but it does allow for the clock to start ticking on your Ignition Interlock time requirement.
For example, if you are required to have an IID for one year, you could apply for this tolling application on the Washington Department of Licensing website and, if you were approved on February 1st of 2021, you could apply to reinstate your license one year later in 2022. You are NOT automatically allowed to drive and you may NOT drive during this medical tolling period. However, if you qualify, it allows you to wait the year without paying for the install and maintenance of the device in your car. Again, you must have a medical condition that meets the qualifications for the tolling exemption and be approved by DOL.