Ignition Interlock Devices

If you are convicted of a drunk driving, DUI, or related charge, you may be subject to an ignition interlock device requirement as part of your sentence. This is an unfortunate reality, and a difficult and inconvenient burden you must deal with as a condition of your driver’s license reinstatement.

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a mechanical device, about the size of a cell phone that attaches to your vehicle’s ignition. This system is essentially a “rolling breathalyzer”, a device, installed in your personal vehicle at your expense by the order of the court.

Your Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) must be below a certain threshold before the system allows your car to start, allowing you to drive.

These devices come from a variety of licensed companies throughout the state, and are installed and maintained at your expense. It is your responsibility, if sanctioned, to choose a company and have the device installed. You are essentially renting the device from a company of your choice. The monthly maintenance fee varies.

Will I Need to Get an Ignition Interlock after a DUI Conviction?

There are a few different CA DUI & related offenses that you can be convicted of which will lead the court to order an ignition interlock device (IID). Those include:

First time DUI with BAC over .15%- If you are convicted of DUI and your blood alcohol content was greater than .15% the judge has discretion to order that you install the ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

-Driving on Suspension from prior DUI -If caught driving on a suspended license and the suspension was a result of a DUI, you may be ordered to drive with an ignition interlock device once your license is reinstated.

-Any second or subsequent DUI conviction- You will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle after your second DUI. However, your license will first be suspended for at least a year prior to your grant to drive with the IDD. However, we are familiar with pilot programs that can be worked so that you may drive sooner, especially with a hardship waiver.

Ignition interlock devices not only require installation but also routine maintenance. In the state of California, it is your responsibility to have the device installed in your vehicle and serviced periodically to ensure it is working properly.

We understand that having a device such as this in your vehicle is a hassle and very embarrassing to some. But for most people convicted of a DUI in CA, it is preferable to the alternative of a full license suspension or revocation.

Will I have To Get an IID for a First-Time DUI?

Generally, a first-time DUI won’t result in the mandatory installation of an IID. But, the law does allow it and it is up to the court’s discretion, based on some of the factors we discussed above. Knowing your chances of being ordered to have an IID installed is often a matter of consulting with a knowledgeable, experienced and skilled local defense attorney who knows how the local courts, the prosecutors and the DMV handle such issues.

How Soon After My Sentencing Can I Elect to Have the IID?

If your driving privileges are suspended for a DUI and you wish to regain those privileges by having an IID installed, this may be an option. A first time DUI is generally eligible for a IID restricted license after 30 days of hard suspension, but this will depend upon the facts in your case.  If it is your second time DUI offense, you can get an IID restricted license after an initial 90 days of suspension, but this rule is subject to change.

What Happens If I Don’t Get the IID Installed After Being Ordered To?

Failure to have your vehicle equipped with such a device within 30 days of being ordered to do so by the court can result in additional misdemeanor charges. Likewise, there are several other misdemeanor offenses related to the use and misuse of an IID.

Interlock Related Criminal Misdemeanor Offenses:

-Having someone else blow into your ignition interlock device so you can start your car;

-Blowing into someone’s ignition interlock device so they can start their car- that is more unlikely;

-Tampering, removing, or bypassing an IID;

-Renting or borrowing a vehicle without disclosing to that person of your restricted driving privileges;

-Knowingly renting or lending a vehicle to someone who has been ordered by the court to use an ignition interlock device and that the vehicle you rent or lease fails to have the device installed;

-Operate a vehicle without an IID installed in it.

All of these are considered misdemeanor offenses and carry a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail.

Also, if you are ordered by the court to use a vehicle with an ignition interlock device and are found in operation of a vehicle lacking such a device, your license will be suspended or revoked for the remainder of the original term of suspension (in the case of IID restricted licenses).

Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC Is Here To Defend Your Charges To The Max!

Ensuring you have the best possible representation in your defense on your day in court improves your chances of avoiding a conviction, and this requirement of having to install a very costly an burdensome device, an ignition interlock device (IID).

Please contact our experienced DUI attorneys today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507. Our law firm will fight to increase the likelihood of you getting the charges dropped or the sentence reduced, that may avoid this tough penalty.

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.