You likely have questions if you were ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in California. Drivers are often required to install IIDs following a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). Even first-time DUI convictions can result in IID installation.
It’s natural to wonder how an IID works in this situation. Use this article to focus on the functions of IID units from the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. Call us at (310) 997-4688 to get additional information about DUI charges throughout California.
The Basic Functions of an IID
IIDs work by assessing your blood alcohol content (BAC) to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol. However, IIDs are not blood tests. Instead, the IID will search for traces of alcohol in your breath, which will reflect the percentage of alcohol found in your blood.
Drivers in California are legally required to keep their BAC below a certain level in order to operate a motor vehicle. Generally, the state expects drivers to maintain a BAC under 0.08% if they are over 21. However, you should know that your BAC must be lower when you take an IID test.
You may need to keep your BAC below 0.02% to operate your vehicle with an IID installed.
Parts of an IID in California
We’ve discussed the purpose of an IID in California. Now let’s focus on the components of an IID device and the role each part has in detecting BAC. Your IID has two major parts, including:
A Handheld Section
The handheld section is the part of the IID you use directly. This section of the device will be about the same size as an old-model cell phone. You must breathe into the breathalyzer to begin the BAC test. Sensors within the breathalyzer can detect even small amounts of alcohol on your breath.
An Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
The ECU connects directly into the electronic system of your vehicle. In fact, the ECU will attach to your starter. If your breathalyzer detects alcohol in your breath, the ECU sends a signal to the starter and your vehicle will not turn on.
Method Used to Measure BAC by an IID
Now that you understand how IIDs work and the components contained in these devices, we can deal with specific facts about IID usage. Your IID will be equipped with an ethanol fuel cell sensor to assess alcohol levels in your breath.
The fuel cells within an IID generate an electric pulse when exposed to even small amounts of alcohol. Sensors within the IID can measure the amount of electric current generated to gauge your BAC level.
You should be aware that a single drink of alcohol can be enough to produce a BAC of 0.02%. This means that it is very important you do not drink alcohol before attempting to use your IID.
Required Uses of an IID in California
You will need to use your IID regularly if you are ordered to install the device by the California court. Drivers in California must utilize IIDs:
- Each time they turn on their vehicle
- At regular intervals, while they drive
Your vehicle will not turn on if the IID detects alcohol on your breath. You will also need to complete “rolling” tests as you drive. Generally, you will receive an audio warning to let you know when it’s time to complete a rolling test.
Ignoring a rolling test can be considered misusing an IID, which can lead to the suspension of your driving privileges. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles if you’re accused of this act. You can reach the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 997-4688.
IIDs Record Information About Drivers
In addition to performing a BAC test, your IID performs a number of other functions. For example, IIDs record information about:
- The time and date of each start-up test you take
- The results of the start-up test
- The time and date of each rolling test you take
- The results of each rolling test
- Each time you skip a rolling test
- Any attempts to tamper with the IID
Additionally, some IIDs come with additional functions. Some IIDs are equipped with cameras, for example. These IIDs will take a picture each time someone completes a test. This can be used to determine exactly who used the IID in the event that the individual fails the test.
Learn More About IIDs with a Legal Professional
Find out how IIDs work with the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. You can also count on us to help you handle DUI charges in California. Get the assistance you need by contacting us today for a FREE consultation.
Speak to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 997-4688.