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California Ignition Interlock Device Requirements

How do I avoid installing an Ignition Interlock Device?

  Many states throughout the United States, including California, have created new punishments and penalties to reduce the incidence of drunk driving in their states. One of the most common methods is to require drivers to install an ignition interlock device, which requires the driver to provide a breathing sample before they can operate their motorized vehicle.
The Ignition Interlock Device will require you, the driver to blow into the mouthpiece. The device will analyze your BAC or blood alcohol concentration level and if it is above the predetermined limit the car will not start. If your BAC is below the allowable BAC limit the car will start.

California DUI- Do I have to install an ignition interlock device?

  In the state of California a judge may have the discretion to order you to install a ignition interlock device for any DUI (driving under the influence) offense. So this means if you are convicted of driving under the influence, driving with a BAC over the legal limit of 0.08%, causing injury or death in a drunk driving accident or if you drive with a suspended license after a DUI conviction you could be forced to install the device. As mentioned above, the judge has some discretion for certain types of DUI cases; for other cases, however, the laws of the state will specifically determine whether the ignition interlock device must be installed.

Arrested for first DUI in California

  So will you have to install an ignition interlock device for a first-time DUI arrest? As mentioned above, the court will have some discretion of whether or not to impose this penalty. In some counties it may be required, in others the courts will only require it if your BAC is above 0.15% or if you refuse to submit to the blood alcohol content test. In July 2010, in Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare, and Sacramento counties initiated a pilot program which requires drivers who are convicted of their first drunk driving charge to install an ignition interlock device. This law was outlined under Vehicle Code 23700 VC. Right now the law requires that the device be installed for five months unless you caused injury while you were driving drunk.

What about other states?

  Other states have also begun to require the installation of the ignition interlock device in order to get a restricted license or to have a license reinstated. For example, in 2002 the state of Florida instituted this requirement under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes.

Costs to the DUI Defendant for an ignition interlock device

Not only can the ignition interlock be embarrassing, it can also be expensive. The typical costs to install the device can be $75 plus and interlock fee and a monthly monitoring and calibration fee which can be upwards of $75 per month. Additionally, many states may also add an insurance charge and a deposit for the machine. There will also be the cost in time and hassle if you have to have the device installed and monitored which may require periodic trips to the installation company.

Hiring a DUI lawyer in California

  A driver on our forum asked how they could avoid having to install an ignition interlock device. The best way is to avoid a DUI conviction. This means talking to a DUI lawyer and evaluating the state’s DUI case against you. Additionally, there may not be an option in some counties if you are convicted of DUI; however, in other counties you can talk to your DUI lawyer about steps to take that may reduce the possibility of this penalty.
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