You can be ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle in California. Generally, the court orders IID installation for drivers convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Since 2019, most drivers convicted of a DUI in California must install an IID.
Many drivers aren’t sure what happens if they fail an IID test. You may be wondering if you’ll go to jail for failing interlock. Use this article to review the penalties for an IID failure with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also call us at (310) 997-4688 to go over your legal options for handling an IID failure.
Penalties for an IID Failure in California
IID failures can have a number of serious consequences, but you should be aware that jail time is not often one of them. In fact, penalties for an IID violation can vary greatly in severity. Some violations will only prevent you from starting your car for a few minutes while others could result in the loss of your driving privileges.
Let’s review basic and severe IID violations with this article, so you understand what will happen if you misuse an IID in California.
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Failing Interlock Can Lock-Out Your Vehicle
Your vehicle may be locked-out if you fail an initial IID breath test. IIDs are personal breathalyzer devices that attach to your vehicle. You must blow into the device each time you want to go for a drive. If the device registers alcohol on your breath, it won’t allow you to turn on your car.
After an IID failure, you will have to wait a few minutes before you can re-take the IID breath test. Note that your vehicle will not operate until the IID stops detecting alcohol on your breath.
False Positives on IID Tests
Sometimes, drivers fail an IID test even though they didn’t drink any alcohol. This can lead to a frustrating situation, especially if you need to get to your destination quickly. Some items can cause the IID to fail you, even if you weren’t drinking. Before an IID test, you may want to avoid:
- Alcohol-based mouthwash
- Many breath sprays
- Foods made with alcohol
- Energy drinks like Red Bull
Failing Interlock Requires Calibration of Your Device
You may also fail an IID test while driving your vehicle. IIDs require you to perform rolling re-tests as you drive. You must complete these tests. The IID will make a report if you ignore a test. It will also record failures on the rolling re-test.
You may need to take your IID in for calibration if you fail a rolling re-test. The record of your elevated blood alcohol content (BAC) could also be used against you if you are accused of another DUI.
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Avoiding IID Usage Can Lead to Criminal Charges
Drivers ordered to use an IID can only drive a vehicle with an IID installed. Driving without an IID in this situation is considered a criminal act. In fact, you can face charges for driving on a suspended license. If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license, you could be:
- Fined up to $1,000
- Sent to jail for up to six months
Note that these are the penalties for a first-time driving on a suspended license conviction. Your fines and jail time may increase for subsequent convictions. Therefore, you can face jail time if you disobey interlock regulations in California.
If you are accused of driving on a suspended license, you can get help quickly by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Call (310) 997-4688 to get professional advice.
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Misusing an IID Can Get Your License Suspended or Revoked
Finally, your driving privileges may be suspended or revoked if you misuse an IID in California. Drivers could face the loss of their driving privileges if they:
- Tamper with an IID
- Try to remove an IID
- Try to get around an IID
- Fail to properly service, maintain, or calibrate an IID
Even a single failure to service your IID can allow the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend or revoke your license, so take regulations on IID usage seriously.
Contact a Lawyer if You Failed an IID Test
You will not generally go to jail for failing interlock. However, if you drive a vehicle without an IID, you could face criminal charges that can result in jail time. In this situation, you need to reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles immediately for a FREE case evaluation.
The team at the Simmrin Law Group is ready to start working on your defense now. Just call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form.