Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are small, portable breathalyzers. Drivers convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California may be required to install IID(s) in their vehicle(s). Installing an IID allows drivers to continue operating a vehicle following a DUI conviction.
Use this article to learn more about IIDs and their legal uses in the state of California. Focus on:
- How IIDs function
- How IIDs are installed
- How much IIDs cost
- How long IIDs remain in vehicles
- How drivers comply with IID restrictions
You can also call (310) 997-4688 to speak with the legal professionals at the Simmrin Law Group regarding IIDs and DUI charges.
IIDs in California: Functions of an IID
As we previously mentioned, IIDs are small breathalyzers that are installed in a vehicle after a DUI conviction. Per the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the IIDs used in California are roughly as large as a cellphone.
An IID connects directly into a vehicle. In order to turn-on a vehicle with an IID, the driver must breathe into the IID. The IID then measures the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If the driver’s BAC is alcohol-free, the vehicle will turn-on and allow operation.
Drivers will also need to provide random breath samples as they operate their vehicle. Generally, these samples are required around every 45 minutes while the vehicle is in operation. All failures on IID breath tests are recorded and reported.
IIDs in California: Installation of an IID
Recent changes to the law in California require many drivers convicted of a DUI to install an IID. Even first-time DUI offenders must install IIDs in most cases. In order to install an IID, a driver must make an appointment with an officially sanctioned installation company.
There are several options to choose from in California, including:
- Smart Start, Inc
- Alcohol Detection Systems, Inc.
- Guardian Interlock
Generally, the company that installs the IID will also be responsible for maintaining and calibrating the device. Drivers must keep their IID properly maintained, or they may have their driver’s license suspended by the DMV.
IIDs in California: Costs of an IID
Drivers in the state of California are required to pay for the installation of any IIDs they require after a DUI conviction. Installation of a single IID may cost around $100. Note that drivers must install an IID in:
- All vehicles they operate
- All vehicles registered in their name
For this reason, the costs of IID installation can quickly increase. There are fees for the regulation operation of the IID. These fees average out to around $2.50 a day. Additionally, drivers must pay for the upkeep and maintenance of their IIDs.
Some drivers are eligible to receive financial assistance from the state that operates their IIDs. Drivers must demonstrate financial hardship to receive this assistance.
IIDs in California: Amount of Time IIDs Are Used
Drivers in California may be required to keep their IID installed for varying amounts of time. Generally, the amount of time an IID must remain in a vehicle is determined by how many DUI convictions there are on a driver’s record. For example, drivers must use an IID for:
- Six months for a first DUI conviction
- One year for a second DUI conviction
- Two years for a third DUI conviction
- Three years for subsequent DUI convictions
Note that drivers convicted of DUI causing injury will have to keep their IIDs installed for a longer period of time. Even a first-time DUI causing injury conviction requires drivers to install an IID for one year.
IIDs in California: Driver Compliance
As we mentioned, drivers must keep their IIDs properly maintained and calibrated. Failing to service or maintain the IID can lead to the suspension of a driver’s license in California. Additionally, drivers may lose their driving privileges if they try to:
- Bypass their IID
- Tamper with their IID
- Remove their IID
Attempting to get someone else to complete the IID test is considered trying to bypass the device. IIDs are programmed to recognize a specific driver’s breathing pastern. Misusing the IID device can result in the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license by the DMV, so this situation should be taken seriously.
Get Help Understanding IIDs in California
A DUI conviction can have many impacts on your life. You may be required to install an IID in your vehicle. Now that you know what an ignition interlock device is, you can understand the severity of this requirement.
You may be able to avoid a DUI conviction and the installation of an IID if you get professional help quickly after a DUI arrest. Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group’s DUI lawyers in Los Angeles for help today.
Reach our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form to get a FREE case evaluation.