A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in California can have a number of serious consequences. You could be fined and sent to jail. You might also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicles you drive or own.
You may even need an ignition interlock for your commercial vehicle if you drive as part of your job. The Simmrin Law Group can help you review California’s laws on commercial vehicles and IIDs right here. We can also help you handle commercial DUI charges if you call (310) 896-2723.
California’s Basic Laws on IID Usage
California adjusted regulations on IID usage in 2019. According to the state’s new laws, most drivers convicted of a DUI will need to install an IID on:
- All vehicles registered in their name
- All vehicles that they drive regularly
However, there are several exceptions to IID regulations in California. One exception deals specifically with driving a vehicle owned by your employer. Let’s review IID regulations for professional drivers right now.
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Employer Exemptions to IID Installation in California
Legally, you may not need an IID for a commercial vehicle in California. You may operate a commercial vehicle without an IID if:
- Your employer owns the vehicle
- You have an IID-restricted driver’s license
- You fill out a Notice to Employers Ignition Interlock Restriction form
- You give the form to your employer
- Your employer approves of the form
- Your employer permits you to operate the vehicle
Note that you can only utilize this exception if you work for someone else. If you are self-employed, you must install an IID on any vehicles you drive for work. Additionally, your employer may disallow you from operating a vehicle for them following a DUI conviction.
Other Exemptions for IID Usage in California
We need to discuss California’s other exemptions to IID usage briefly. This is because IID exemptions in California do not stack. Drivers in California who are exempted from the mandatory use of an IID aren’t able to qualify for an exemption while driving an employer’s vehicle.
Drivers in California may seek an exemption request from the IID program if they:
- Don’t have a vehicle
- Live out-of-state
- Have a medical condition that prevents them from using an IID
In any of the above situations, a driver may be exempted from the requirement to install an IID. In this situation drivers will:
- Have their license suspended or revoked for a set period of time
- Be required to finish a DUI treatment program
Drivers may not operate a vehicle at all while their license is suspended or revoked in California. For this reason, you cannot seek an employer exemption, as you would not legally be allowed to drive at all. Find out if an IID exemption is right for you by calling (310) 896-2723 to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles.
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Employer Usage of IIDs in California
As you can see, employers may allow you to operate a vehicle without installing an IID in the state of California. However, many employers choose to install IIDs in their vehicles. Some companies install IIDs proactively before any of their employees are charged with a DUI.
Commercial IIDs can prevent commercial drunk driving accidents. Many companies are concerned with preventing employee drunk driving, as accidents can lead to:
- Higher insurance rates
- Expensive vehicle repairs
- Time-consuming lawsuits
Additionally, a company’s reputation could be damaged if an employee causes an accident while driving under the influence. Installing an IID prevents employees from turning on a vehicle while their blood alcohol content (BAC) is elevated, diminishing the chances that a drunk driving accident will occur.
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Employer Responses to Drunk Driving Convictions
You should be aware that your employer may choose to terminate your employment after a drunk driving conviction. Not all employers want to install IIDs and some companies don’t want to agree to an IID exemption for employees.
Getting professional help handling DUI accusations is often the best way to protect your driving privileges and your employment. Make sure you’re ready to build a strong defense by working with the Simmrin Law Group as soon as you are arrested.
Contact a Lawyer After a Commercial DUI in California
You may not need an IID for your commercial vehicle after a DUI arrest. However, you could have larger concerns as employers sometimes fire employees convicted of a DUI. Take steps to protect your career by contacting the Simmrin Law Group for help with DUI charges. Just complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723 to get started.
Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can provide you with a FREE consultation after a commercial DUI arrest.