Ignition interlock devices: What you should know

If you are charged and convicted of driving under the influence in California, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Interlock devices allow you to drive to work, school and run important errands safely, even when you have had your traditional driver’s license revoked because of a DUI conviction. Tulare, Los Angeles, Alameda and Sacramento counties all require ignition interlock devices with DUI charges. In other counties in California, however, it is up to the discretion of the judge presiding over the case.

Once you have an IID installed in your vehicle, you must give a clean breath sample in order to start your car. Rolling retests are also required during the drive to keep the vehicle going. If your BAC level measures above the preset level, the car will either not start or will power down. All of the information regarding start-up attempts, BAC levels and lock-outs is recorded in the IID and is transferred to law enforcement authorities during the vehicle’s inspection. Every 60 days, your vehicle must be inspected and calibrated by a state certified installer.

The length of time you are required to keep your IID is dependent on how many DUI offenses you have accumulated. For instance, if you have one DUI within a 10-year period, you must have an IID for five months in a misdemeanor charge and 12 months for a felony conviction. If you have four or more DUI offenses, the IID must be installed for 36 months in a misdemeanor case and 48 months for a felony.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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