Drivers convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID). This device measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) before you turn on your vehicle and while you drive.
You may be wondering how often you have to blow into your IID. The Simmrin Law Group can help you review the specific usage of IIDs in California.
You Blow Into an IID Each Time You Start Your Vehicle
So how often do you have to blow into an ignition interlock device? An IID will require you to perform a BAC test every time you want to go for a drive. Your vehicle will not operate if the IID detects alcohol on your breath. Instead, your vehicle will be locked-out for a period of time, during which you will not be able to drive.
You will have the opportunity to re-test following this lock-out. A subsequent failure will lock your vehicle out once more. You must wait until the IID doesn’t detect alcohol to turn your vehicle on in the state of California.
Note that the IID does not just detect alcoholic beverages. You could be locked out if you attempt an IID test after:
- Using mouthwash
- Eating some foods, including vanilla
- Utilizing a breath spray
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You Blow Into an IID While Driving Your Vehicle
How often does interlock go off while driving? In addition to taking a BAC test before starting your vehicle, you will have to perform tests while driving. These tests occur around every 45 minutes. You will be notified by your IID when the time to take a test approaches.
Note that all failures on these “rolling” tests will be reported by your device. Refusal to complete a test will also be noted on your IID record.
You will need to perform these tests for the entire period an IID is installed in your vehicle. The device will not test you less as time progresses. Therefore, you may need to complete these regular tests for around:
- Six months for your first DUI
- One year for your second DUI
- Two years for your third DUI
- Three years for subsequent DUIs
Other Regulations for IIDs in California
You must blow into your IID regularly to comply with regulations set forth by the state. You must also follow several other rules to maintain compliance with the IID program. You will need to have your IID regularly:
You must have your ignition interlock device inspected and calibrated by a certified IID installer every 60 days. The installer will not only ensure the device works appropriately but also checks if you have any violations logged on the device, such as failure to take a retest when alerted.
Consequences of Failing to Adhere to IID Regulations
Make sure that you take the IID’s presence in your vehicle seriously by adhering to all regulations. For example, failure to follow the maintenance schedule required by the company that installed your IID can result in a license suspension or revocation.
All noncompliance issues are reported to the court or the DMV. Noncompliance includes:
- A failure to have the IID serviced within 60 days
- Failing three or more times to bring it in for calibration or maintenance within 60 days
If the court or DMV suspends or revokes your license due to noncompliance with servicing and maintenance rules, you must get back into compliance with the certified installer. A new form will be submitted to the court or DMV, which will then reinstate your IID restricted license.
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Acts Leading to IID Noncompliance in California
Thus far in this article, we have discussed the proper handling of IIDs. You can also get in legal trouble if you treat your IID in certain ways. For example, your license may be revoked or suspended if you try to:
- Bypass your IID
- Remove your IID
- Tamper with your IID
Trying to get someone else to blow into your IID can be considered bypassing the IID. Driving a vehicle without an IID can also result in legal issues for you. In fact, driving without your IID can lead to criminal charges for driving on a suspended license in the court system.
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How Long Will I Have to Use an Ignition Interlock Device in California?
Ignition interlock devices may be installed for 1-4 years, depending on the circumstances of the DUI conviction. Therefore, the more prior offenses you have, the longer you will have to keep the IID installed.
The same applies to DUI convictions that result from injury offenses. If you injured someone while driving under the influence, your mandatory IID time is increased. The California DMV specifies the mandatory IID installation period as follows:
- No prior DUI: No mandatory IID, unless DUI resulted in injury; then 1-year IID installation period
- One prior DUI conviction within 10 years: 1 year for non-injury offenses and 2 years for injury offenses or manslaughter
- Two prior DUI convictions within 10 years: 2 years for non-injury offenses and 3 years for injury offenses
- Three or more prior DUI Convictions within 10 years: 3 years for both injury and non-injury offenses
- One or more felony DUI convictions within 10 years: 3 years for non-injury offenses and 4 years for injury offenses
How Long After Drinking Can an IID Detect Alcohol?
IIDs are simply car breathalyzers measuring the amount of alcohol on your breath. They can detect alcohol on your breath for 12-24 hours after drinking, so plan to stay out of your vehicle for at least a day to be on the safe side. Instead, call an Uber, Lyft, taxi, or a friend.
Some people choose to take a risk, thinking that the legal blood alcohol level of .08 also applies to their ignition interlock device. However, many of these devices flag blood alcohol at .02 and will not start your car. An IID could also detect blood alcohol levels lower than .02 and produce a warning that will be recorded in your IID logs.
DUI Charges and Their Connection to IIDs
Drivers in California are frequently ordered to install an IID after a DUI conviction. Getting professional help after you are arrested for a DUI can reduce the odds that you will be convicted. Resolving DUI charges successfully can ensure you don’t have to install an IID.
The team at the Simmrin Law Group can assess your case following a DUI arrest. Allow us to focus on constructing a strong defense for you. We’re ready to protect your driving privileges in California, starting right now.
Get Legal Advice Regarding IID Usage in California
You have to blow into your IID every time you start your vehicle and frequently while you are driving. This requirement can quickly become frustrating for drivers. Make sure you take proactive steps to prevent a DUI conviction and IID installation by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.