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Ignition Interlock Device (IID) License Application Requirement

I recently had a case where a client was sentenced for DUI (as a result of the agreement another DUI charge against him was dismissed). As part of the sentence the judge ordered him to "apply for the IID (Ignition Interlock Device) License within 30 days." This struck me as odd, since IID requirements have always been the domain of the DOL.

After researching the issue more thoroughly, I came upon some rather curious findings. At sentencing for DUI the judge is in fact required by law to order the client to apply for the IID license within 30 days (he who knowlingly violates sentencing conditions risks additional jail time). To apply, a person must include a non-refundable $100 application fee.

In order to qualify for an IID license, one must have proof of SR-22 insurance, must have the IID itself installed, and must have proof of both at the time he applies (within 30 days of sentencing). If he does not he loses his $100. He can certainly apply again down the line, but he'll have to pay another $100.

There is an "exception" to this requirement. In the event that the defendant does not qualify (for instance, he no longer has a car) the judge can waive the application requirement but must then order the defendant to submit to alcohol monitoring at his own expense. It would, of course, make more financial sense for that person to simply pay the $100 fee and be done with it; after all, he would have then met everything required of him at sentencing since there is no requirement that he actually obtain the IID. But what's fair about that?

Consider the following. At sentencing for DUI a judge is not required to impose a condition of alcohol abstinence; in fact a first time DUI offender often faces no such condition. Yet the DOL requires that same judge to order that same person to either apply for the IID license, or (if waived) to undergo alcohol monitoring for the period he would have been required to have the IID license. So a defendant who is not prohibited from consuming alcohol is forced to pay for alcohol monitoring? How ridiculous is this?

This arbitrary and pointless requirement by the DOL that a person apply for an IID license within 30 days of sentencing (with a $100 non-refundable fee), regardless of whether or not they are eligible, serves no purpose but to line the pockets of the DOL. Simply take away this requirement and all else remains the same -  a defendant still cannot drive without a license, still must obtain the IID license if he wants to drive while suspended, and if he does drive without a license (and IID if required) he can still be charged with a crime. These safeguards reasonably ensure that someone convicted a DUI, and whose license is suspended as a result, not drive any vehicle without an IID installed. If one can't afford high risk insurance or no longer has a car, one cannot qualify for the license. What if they simply choose not to drive? Why does the DOL require that one apply for something that he has no hope of obtaining? Why does our Legislature allow them to? How long will we allow them to?

Categories: DUI Defense
Posted By Park Chenaur on July 06, 2010 11:14 am | Permalink 
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