Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) in California

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

In some cases a DUI conviction can include the penalty of mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device or IID for short. An IID works much like a breathalyzer in that it measures the amount of alcohol in your body. The device is designed to stop drivers from driving drunk. It is installed into your vehicle and requires a breath sample before it allows the engine to start.

It will also ask for samples randomly once the car has started in order to keep drivers from having someone else provide the sample or consuming alcohol in the vehicle. There are several important factors to keep in mind about IID device in California:

  • It is a crime to blow into someone else's IID as well as it is a crime to ask someone else to give a sample for you
  • You cannot install an IID in a motorcycle; therefore motorcycles cannot be driven during IID restricted periods
  • Devices store all breath reading records so the court will know if you failed a breath test when trying to start your vehicle
  • IIDs must be serviced every 60 days at which time the log of breath results will be checked
  • It is a crime to tamper with or try and deactivate an IID device
  • The device will ask for random samples (known as rolling samples) while the car is in motion, but will give the driver enough time to pull over if need be.

California DUI and IIDs

Who Needs to Install an IID?

The idea behind Ignition Interlock Device installation is that by having these devices in vehicles, the driver will never be able to drink and drive. There is a movement to get these devices installed in all new cars as a way to permanently end DUI. For now, IID are only used as a penalty for DUI offenders. The driver will be requires to pay for the installation of the device and will also have to take the device in for serving every 60 days. When you are required to use an IID, you cannot drive any vehicle without a device. If you have more than one vehicle, you will have to pay to have the device installed in all of them unless you do not plan on operating them during your IID sentence.

A judge can sentence a DUI offender to install an IID as they see fit. After a conviction of a crime of section 23152 (driving under the influence) or 23153 (driving under the influence and causing injury) a judge an include IID installation in the sentence. A conviction of section 14601.2 (Driving When Privilege Suspended or Revoked for Driving Under the Influence With Excessive Blood Alcohol or When Addicted) also includes a penalty of ignition interlock installation.

There is a new pilot program in California that only affects certain counties. In Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare Counties, if you are convicted of any DUI offense, you will have to install an ignition interlock device. In most cases judges will only sentence DUI offenders with a history of drinking and driving to IID installation. Under this new law, anyone – even first time offenders – will have to install this device into their vehicle. This program began in 2010 and, if successful, may spread to the rest of the state in coming years.

How Long Must I Use an IID?

The length of time that an ignition interlock device is used depends greatly on your circumstances. In cases involving a section 23152, 23153, or 14601.2 offense, the maximum sentence a judge can give for an IID is 3 years.  Generally, these device are only sentenced to  drivers who have exhibited very poor judgment in the past when it comes to drinking and driving.

Under California's vehicle code section 23700-23702, the pilot program, the lengths of sentences are as follows:

For people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs:

  • First time offender: 5 months of IID installation
  • Second time offender: 12 months of IID installation
  • Third time offender: 24 months of IID installation
  • Fourth time offender or more: 36 months of IID installation

For people convicted of driving under the influence and causing serious injury:

  • First time offender: 12 months of IID installation
  • Second time offender: 24months of IID installation
  • Third time offender: 36 months of IID installation
  • Fourth time offender or more: 48 months of IID installation
California Ignition Interlock Defense

The only way to avoid IID installation for sure is to avoid conviction of DUI altogether. Our attorneys can help you fight your charges and avoid the penalties of a DUI conviction. When you call our firm, you will speak to a lawyer who can answer all of your questions and explain more about the penalties you may face. If you have been arrested for DUI in California, call us right now.

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California Defense Attorneys

Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP is a criminal defense law firm serving Southern California. We represent clients who have been charged with DUI and other crimes that are looking for aggressive defense lawyers who can help them fight the charges they face. For more information, contact our firm today.