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Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required After a California DUI?

Posted on in DUI

San Jose DUI defense attorneyDriving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol has been proven to impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Studies show that many car accidents are caused by drunk driving, often resulting in serious to fatal injuries. That is why any motorist who does so can face stiff criminal penalties if caught and convicted. In California, a DUI may result in loss of driving privileges, steep fines, or even prison time. Depending on the circumstances of their arrest, some offenders may be mandated to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle.  

How Does an IID Work? 

When an ignition interlock device is installed on a vehicle, it measures a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and disables the vehicle’s ignition if a certain amount of alcohol is detected on his or her breath. They are similar to breathalyzer tests, but they control whether or not a car can be started. The majority of IIDs will alert a driver when it is time to give another breath sample. If it detects alcohol, an alarm will go off or the horn will honk to prompt a motorist to stop and turn off the car. It is important to note that the device cannot automatically turn off a vehicle’s engine. 

California DUI Laws

If you are arrested for DUI in California, the penalties can vary depending on the circumstances. First offenders can face between four days to six months in jail; a fine up to $1,000, and a license suspension for up to six months.

However, first-time DUI offenders are able to reinstate their driving privileges during the mandatory suspension period. In order to qualify for a restricted driver’s license, these drivers must have an IID installed in their vehicles. Motorists must show proof of an IID to the court and/or the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CDMV). A restricted license allows individuals to drive to work, school, or other locations as long as they have the IID installed in their automobiles.

Contact a San Francisco Criminal Defense Lawyer

Drunk driving is illegal in every state, and the penalties in California can be severe. In some cases, a motorist who makes a mistake behind the wheel should not have to pay for that lapse in judgment for the rest of his or her life. At the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, we understand the impact a DUI arrest and conviction can have on your future, both professionally and personally. Our tenacious Milpitas DUI defense attorneys will build a strong defense on your behalf by carefully reviewing the details of your traffic stop. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 408-246-3004. 



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