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Ignition Interlock Device

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Ignition interlock devices (IID) are used as a penalty for driving under the influence in California. Usually, IIDs are installed as a penalty for multiple DUI offenders and as a consequence for other serious DUI penalties, but judges can sometimes require the IID for first time DUI offenders.

The IID can also be a form of alternative sentencing. If you have been accused of a DUI offense, your defense lawyer may be able to negotiate IID installation in lieu of a jail sentence.

The IID has gained recent popularity as a penalty for drunk drivers—as it both punishes and serves as a deterrent against future offenses. It works similar to a breath test in that it tests a breath sample for alcohol. This is an expensive machine and must be calibrated on a regular basis.

How the Ignition Interlock Device Works

The ignition interlock device (IID) is a device commonly no bigger than an average cell phone; it is installed into a vehicle and wired to the ignition. Once it has been successfully installed, it requires that the driver of the vehicle provides a clean breath sample before starting up the engine—working very similarly to the breath tests used by the officers in a DUI arrest.

If a clean sample is not given, the vehicle will not start; if the sample is clean, then the engine will start. To avoid any possible cheating, the IID will also require what is known as "rolling intervals," requiring random samples as the engine is running. This is to prevent a sober friend from breathing into the IID to start the engine or a driver to start drinking after the engine is running.

If a breath sample is not given at these rolling intervals—or if it is given but there is alcohol detected at a level above the machine's set threshold—an alarm will sound (typically involving noises and/or lights) and the event will be logged by the device. Contrary to popular belief, the engine will not simply shut down if a clean sample is not given, as this would be a serious safety hazard.

Ignition Interlock Devices & Restricted Licenses

The DMV or the court may impose an IID restriction on your license. If the DMV orders the IID, you must submit the Department of Motor Vehicles Ordered Verification of Ignition Interlock form or the Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device form within 30 days. If the court ordered the usage of the IID, you must fill out the necessary forms to alert the DMV so that a restriction is placed on your license and law enforcement is alerted to the requirement should you ever be stopped.

If you fail to follow this protocol, the DMV will be alerted and you will have your driving privileged suspended until you comply. According to California law, the installation of an IID is also a common requirement of those convicted of a DUI to quality for a restricted license.

To qualify, you must have the IID installed and be able to provide the Verification of Installation form, have cleared other suspensions, complied with all DUI program requirements, have submitted the SR 22 form and paid all required fees.

You might also have to have IID installed for driving on a suspended license:

DMV is required to impose an IID restriction on the driving privilege of a person convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license for a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction (California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§14601.2, 14601.4, or 14601.5). This restriction does not allow a person to drive without a valid driver license. 

Why Hire a Los Angeles DUI Attorney?

If you have been criminally charged with drunk driving, then you are facing serious penalties that include the mandatory installation of the IID on all vehicles—whether partially or solely owned or leased. These are serious penalties that have a serious impact on the rest of your life.

To ensure that your legal rights are protected to the full extent of the law, do not hesitate to get the involvement of an experienced DUI lawyer from Gold & Witham. Over the years, we have proven ourselves to be experts in DUI law and have shown a true capability to help clients protect their legal rights. You can trust that we will go the distance in our efforts to protect you.

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