When a person has been found guilty of driving under the influence in California, there are times when they may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. These devices can be ordered under the following circumstances:
An IID will be required for repeat DUI convictions as well as DUI incidents causing injury.
First-time offenders usually have to keep an IID in their vehicle for six months. For repeat DUI offenses, the required amount of time for an IID ranges from one to three years. A second DUI offense causing injury requires an IID to be installed for two years (three years for third conviction).
An IID is essentially a mini-breathalyzer test that is about the size of a cell phone. It is installed on the steering column of a vehicle. When a judge orders that a person must have an IID as part of their probation, the person convicted must:
Before a person with an IID can start their vehicle, they must blow into the IID to provide a breath sample. If a person does not blow into the IID, their vehicle will not start. Once a person begins driving, they will be asked to provide random samples (one between 5 – 15 minutes after you begin driving and then around every 45 minutes after).
If a person does not pass the IID test, the device will not disable the vehicle. However, it will register the test as a “fail” on the log that will be reported to the court.
In California, steps are taken to ensure that the person who is required to provide the breath sample is the one who actually does so. This is done by:
Drivers in California must have an installed IID serviced every 60 days.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1046 which makes law a program that had been pilot tested in various cities throughout the state. The new law allows for those whose license has been suspended for DUI with a certain blood alcohol level to be eligible for a restricted driver’s license if they install an IID in their vehicle. This means that most drivers convicted of first-time DUI will be able to get their licenses back quickly without having to wait for the mandatory suspension period to expire. This is seen as important for allowing Californians to get to work, school, or elsewhere.
DUI laws can be confusing. If you have been charged with DUI, please seek help from a qualified and experienced DUI attorney who can guide you through this process.