Prior to sentencing, many people don’t think of the ignition interlock device (IID) as being one of the “tougher” DUI penalties. For people that drive every day, however, it’s a huge burden—it’s expensive to install, it costs more money the longer you have it, and it interrupts every trip you take in your car.
But what if you don’t drive often, or even own a car—and the judge still ordered you to install an IID? In that case, you can get the IID requirement waived.
How do I waive the IID requirement?
The way you waive the requirement is to file a form called a declaration of non-ownership. This is a short form (often just one page) that you can get from the court that convicted you. This will generally be the Superior Court in the county where you were arrested.
On the form, you are required to list all vehicles that you own or “have access to.” If you don’t have any, and will not use anyone else’s, you can declare that:
- I don’t own any vehicles
- I don’t operate or have access to anyone else’s vehicles
- I don’t operate or have access to my employer’s vehicles
You can then submit the form to the courthouse, which will pass the information to the DMV. Your IID requirement is then considered to be fulfilled.
Is there a deadline to file the declaration of non-ownership?
Yes. You must file it within 30 days of being ordered to install an IID. You should assume that this means 30 days from the date of your conviction. The DMV will often send out a notice informing you of your IID requirement, but defendants don’t always receive these notices, or they come very slowly.
Missing the deadline means that the court will expect proof that you installed an IID. Since you don’t have a car, there is no way for you to provide that proof and you will likely be penalized for not fulfilling your probation terms.
If in doubt, file the form immediately, the very same day as your sentencing if possible.
Are there any consequences for waiving the IID requirement?
As long as you do not drive for any reason, then no, there are no consequences. The only real “consequence” is that you save a lot of money.
However, you must remember that you are still not allowed to drive a car without an IID installed. If you buy a car, or borrow or use someone else’s car, and it doesn’t have an IID, then driving it is a violation of your DUI probation. Your restricted driver’s license, if you choose to get one, will show the IID requirement so that any officer who pulls you over knows about it.
What if I own a car but I don’t plan to drive it. Can I waive the IID?
No. If you own a car in your name, then the court order is binding and you must equip it with an IID and show proof that you have done so. Even if you never drive it until your sentence is over, failing to declare it and get proof of an IID could also be punished as a probation violation.
What if someone else in my family owns a car?
Be cautious. Technically, if you don’t own, operate or have “access” to the car, you shouldn’t have to install the IID. But if this ever comes under scrutiny from the court, it could make you look like you intentionally dodged your probation requirement.
In general, you have “access” to a car if it is kept on your property or owned by someone you are close to (such as a significant other) and you have access to the keys. If a significant other owns the car but you won’t even have keys to it, you may be able to file the declaration of non-ownership and waive the IID. You should check with your DUI lawyer to be sure.
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