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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.

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California DUI defense attorneyWhile the number of people who die in alcohol-related car crashes has been decreasing significantly since the 1980s, it still remains a large issue today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 11,000 people in the United States died in alcohol-related car accidents in 2017. In California alone, there were 3,602 deaths. In an effort to reduce that number, a new law was passed and went into effect at the beginning of the year that requires both first-time and repeat DUI offenders to install a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device into their vehicle.

SB 1046 Requires Ignition Interlock Installation

According to the new bill, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, first-time DUI offenders will now have to choose between:

  1. Six months of full driving privileges with an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle, or
  2. A restricted driving permit for one year with no ignition interlock device.

If you are a first-time offender and you cause injury to another person, you have no choice but to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for one year.

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