How to Ask the Court for an Ignition Interlock Waiver

By Karen Boyd
Requests of the court have to be filed as legal pleadings.

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The penalties for conviction of Driving While Intoxicated have gotten increasingly more severe over time. Since 1999 more and more states use ignition interlock devices as a method for preventing people convicted of alcohol-related driving offenses from driving while impaired. The interlock device prevents the car from starting until the driver provides a legal breath sample. In some states, use of an interlock device is required by law -- Judges do not have the ability to grant an exception. But in other states, use of the interlock device is at the judge's discretion.

Find out what the law says. If you live in a jurisdiction where the law requires ignition interlock installation for the type of offense you have a conviction for, the judge cannot legally grant you a waiver of the requirement. He is bound by the law as much as you. If the law makes ignition interlock installation discretionary, however, a judge may issue a waiver if you file the proper paperwork.

Write your Motion, Affidavit and Order. Any time you ask the court to rule on something you need to file a Motion with the court. In this case, asking for a waiver would be a motion to modify your sentence allowing you to drive without an interlock. The Affidavit tells the court why it should grant you the waiver. You need to explain your reasons so the judge can make a decision based on facts, not just that you do not want an interlock in your car. The Order is a sentence granting the waiver that the judge can sign if he agrees with your request.

File the paperwork. The original Motion, Affidavit and Order have to be filed with the court. You also need to demonstrate that you filed copies of your request with the prosecutor who handled your case. After the court has your documentation it will set a date by which the prosecution must respond to your Motion. Just as you had to give the prosecutor a copy of your Motion, she will send you a copy of the prosecution's response.

Follow the court's order. In some cases the judge will ask for additional information. If it requests more documentation you must provide it within the time required. Likewise, if the judge wants to ask you questions it may order you to appear in court. You must appear. If you do not respond to the court's requests, your Motion will not be granted.

About the Author

Legal - I have 15+ years experience as a trial attorney handling criminal and civil cases. I taught classes at both the Anchorage Police Academy, at the Alaska State Crime Lab, and at Alaska Junior College. Motorcycles - I have a published book for beginning women riders, and own and operate a web forum with over 800 members from 10 countries. I am known in the motorcycling community as a distance rider and mentor for new riders.

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