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What Is An Ignition Interlock Device? When Is It Used In California?


An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device that is installed in a vehicle and prevents it from starting unless the driver blows into the device and registers a value of zero for alcohol. It also requires a driver to periodically blow into it while driving. If the driver fails to do so, the vehicle will turn off. The idea is that they don’t want people driving with alcohol in their system. In California, first-time DUI charges do not usually require someone to have an IID. If a person has had multiple drunk driving arrests and wants to get their license back prior to the end of the suspension period, then they will be required to have an IID. There are four counties in California that do require the ignition interlock device on a first-time DUI, but the only one that I really deal with is Alameda County. In Alameda County, rather than having a hard 30-day suspension prior to being able to get a restricted driver’s license, a person is allowed to drive immediately as long as they have an IID in their car. It will be required that the person have an IID in their vehicle for a period of six months after receiving a first-time DUI. However, they will not be restricted insofar as where or for what purposes they drive.

What Are The Penalties Associated With A DUI Conviction In California?

Any DUI conviction in California is going to involve probation, jail time, a fine, some sort of suspension of a driver’s license and some sort of DUI School. It’s possible to do a case without probation, but in my experience, doing so will result in a really high sentence to encourage probation. On a first-time DUI, there will be between three and five years (usually three) of informal court probation, and a minimum of two days and a maximum of six months in jail. We can usually arrange for some sort of jail alternative, like a sheriff’s work alternative program (picking up trash on the side of the road) or home detention. There will also be a driver’s license suspension of six months with the ability to obtain a restricted license. The length of the required DUI school may be three, six, or nine months, and will depend on the blood alcohol level.

On a second-time DUI, probation is normally four years. There will be a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a driver’s license suspension for two years with the ability to drive sooner after having obtained an IID. In most counties, the fines range from $2,000 to $2,500. The length of the required DUI school on a second-time DUI is 18 months.

On a third-time DUI, the maximum amount of probation is five years. The minimum amount of jail time is 120 days and the maximum amount of jail time is one year. In my experience, there are a lot of counties that sentence above the minimum of jail time, requiring 180 days or more. There will be a three-year suspension of a driver’s license with the option to drive sooner if an IID is obtained. The length of the required DUI school is 18 months. On a third-time DUI, the sheriff’s work program is usually not available, but we will sometimes be able to achieve home detention or assignment to an in-patient live-in residential rehabilitation program.

A fourth DUI is a felony and can result in a three-year prison sentence. It can also result in all of the other penalties we have discussed.  The court may also require you to abstain from the consumption of alcohol during the period of probation. They can put a search clause on you, meaning you would have to submit yourself to search and seizure at any time of the day or night, with or without a warrant. Sometimes they will disallow you from going to places where alcohol is sold, and sometimes they will impound your car for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. On a fourth-time DUI, they can actually force you to sell your car.

For more information on Ignition Interlock Device In California, an initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (925) 308-6444 today.

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