California’s Updated DUI Ignition Interlock Device Law

Mar 28, 2019 | California Law

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California, once having the harshest Driving Under the Influence legislation in the country, just passed a bill that will grant some relief to people who have been charged with a first-time DUI.


What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An Ignition Interlock Device is a breathalyzer that controls whether or not you can start your vehicle. It is intended to prevent drinking and driving by requiring the driver to blow into the device with no traces of alcohol on their breath. It looks like a standard breathalyzer; equipped with a mouthpiece, LED screen, and a cord that is connected to the car’s ignition system. These types of devices have been used as tools for DUI penalties for quite some time, and many more states have been adopting their widespread use.


Mandatory IID Installment

Before the passage of the new bill, when someone was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, the courts would order a mandatory use of an IID only under some circumstances. In those circumstances, the person must have a device installed into their car by an authorized installer and bring proof of installation to the court in order to avoid a suspension of their driver’s license. Following the passage of the bill, the court employs a variety of mandates and procedures to monitor these people. In addition, the DMV is notified about the order and a mark is made on their record to notify law enforcement in the case of a stop.

After the passage of the new bill, under some circumstances, someone arrested for a DUI must have the device installed into their car and bring proof of installation to court. The DMV is notified and a mark is made on their record to notify law enforcement in the case of stop.


The Change to the Law

The bill went into effect on January 1st, 2019, and now requires repeat DUI offenders and first-time offenders that resulted in an injury to install an IID following their case for 12-24 months. However, it also allows offenders who receive a license suspension – following their arrest – to apply for an IID installation to receive IID-restricted driving privileges as credit towards their IID-restricted period should they later be convicted of the DUI. This is helpful for these people, as that means they will be able to complete their IID-restricted period months sooner than the alternative.


The Goal of the Bill

Professionals and speculators alike think that this is a great bill to take control of the many DUIs that happen every year.

Before this new bill, IID-restrictions were only in effect in certain counties across California, and in these counties The International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety claims that IID-restrictions, in association with a monitoring program, have lead up to a 90% reduction in repeat offenses. That said, we can expect that this number will stay remotely the same as it is implemented on a larger scale across California.


Griffin Law Office

Patrick Griffin is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. If you or someone you know is in need of consultation through a first offense DUI, do not hesitate to contact our San Diego DUI lawyers today with your questions.