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Statewide California Ignition Interlock Device Law Begins in 2019

Serving Families Throughout Fresno

For those facing a DUI, it’s helpful to know exactly what repercussions may be coming. Beginning on January 1, 2019, all Californians convicted of a DUI will have to use an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID connects to a vehicle’s ignition forcing the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before the motor will start. It may also require extra breaths to ensure the driver is not drinking after the vehicle is running. The bill expands upon what was a four-county pilot program that began in 2010. The act can benefit those convicted of a DUI by allowing them to continue driving while also protecting public safety.

A Few Rules of Thumb for the New Law

Upon conviction, 1st-time DUI offenders, whose incidents don’t result in an injury, the Court may order the installation of an IID. The device would remain installed for six months. If the Court does not order the installation of an IID, you may apply for a 6-month IID Restricted Driver’s License with the DMV. The 3rd option is to forego the IID entirely and, instead, apply for a Restricted Driver’s License. The restriction would be for one year and would restrict the driver to/from work and treatment for 12 months.

Operators whose impaired driving results in injury, and those with a previous DUI conviction, will have no choice but to get an IID if they wish to continue driving. Two-time offenders face one year with the device, 3rd-time offenders, two years, and those with three or more DUI convictions must have the IID installed for three years. Other options may apply depending on the circumstances and are not listed here.

Offenders can expect to pay between $70 and $150 for ignition interlock device installation and upwards of $80 a month for its use. However, significant percentages of the bills may be forgiven as the fees are based on a sliding income scale. It’s also important to note that judges have leeway as to sentencing, which often includes fines, substance abuse treatment, or even imprisonment.

DUI convictions are serious here in California. We suggest hiring an experienced legal team if you, or a loved one, is charged with driving under the influence. Please contact us  for the best defense possible.