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DUI Ignition Interlock Devices

If you have been convicted of a DUI, there are options to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car to help return your driving privileges.

An IID requires you to blow into an alcohol detection device that will prevent your vehicle from starting if any alcohol is present in your breath¬—it may also be known as a Breathalyzer. Since 2010, new laws require the installation of IIDs in vehicles. A second or third DUI conviction in California comes with the option of installing an IID in exchange for a shorter license suspension period.

DUI Interlock Ignition Device

While an IID appears restrictive, you might have more freedom with a IID hooked up in your car than without one. In many cases, IID installation brings unrestricted driving anywhere you want to go, more than driving just to and from work.

Although these laws have been in effect for a couple of years, many judges and prosecutors are not aware of how they work. Make sure your lawyer knows the laws and can fight for your rights under these new requirements.

Beginning in July 2010, a separate test program in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Tulare counties requires the installation of IIDs for all DUI convictions in these counties. Your county of residence does not matter.

A IID must be installed on all the vehicles you use for the for the following time periods:

  • First offense: 5 months
  • Second offense: 12 months
  • Third offense: 24 months
  • Fourth offense: 36 months

If you are convicted of DUI involving injury to another person, you must install IIDs on all vehicles you use for these time periods:

  • First offense: 12 months
  • Second offense: 24 months
  • Third offense: 36 months
  • Fourth offense: 48 months

The Department of Motor Vehicles grants the following exemptions to the above IID requirements:

  • You don’t own a vehicle
  • You don’t have access to a vehicle at your residence
  • You don’t have access to the vehicle you were driving when arrested for DUI
  • You drive a vehicle for work. With court approval, your employer may not be required to install an IID on a company vehicle if the employee notifies the company that their driving privileges have been restricted.

Vehicles designated by you as PNO (planned non-operation) do not qualify for this exemption.

To qualify for obtaining a restricted license under these new laws, you must also satisfy the following requirements:

  • Show proof of enrollment in an 18 (or 30-month) DUI program
  • Continue satisfactory participation in the program
  • Show proof of installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Show proof of insurance
  • Pay all fees and administrative costs associated

To discuss IIDs and any general DUI questions you may have, or to confidentially talk about your case, please contact me at (530) 823-5400 for a free consultation.