Driving under the influence (DUI) laws in California are stringent, and the state imposes various measures to deter individuals from operating a vehicle while impaired. One such measure is the requirement for an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation for certain DUI offenders. Understanding the ins and outs of IID installation in California is crucial for anyone navigating the legal system or seeking information about these devices.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An Ignition Interlock Device is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle that prevents the engine from starting if it detects a certain level of alcohol on the driver's breath. The device requires the driver to blow into it before starting the vehicle. If the IID detects alcohol above the preset limit, the engine won't start.
IID Installation in California
California laws mandate IID installation in certain DUI cases, primarily for repeat offenders and cases involving excessive blood alcohol content (BAC). A court may order the installation of an IID as part of the penalty for a DUI conviction. Moreover, a first-time DUI offender may also be required to install an IID under certain circumstances.
Who is Required to Install an IID in California?
Repeat offenders (individuals convicted of multiple DUI offenses) are often required to install an IID. For instance, if someone has a prior DUI conviction within the past ten years, they may be ordered to install an IID for an extended period. Additionally, if a repeat offender wants to obtain a restricted driver’s license, they will be required to install an IID.
For first-time offenders with a high BAC level, an IID may be mandated. If the BAC is significantly above the legal limit, the court might order the installation of an IID as part of the penalty.
IID Installation Process
- Court Order: Typically, the court orders IID installation as part of the penalty. Once ordered, the offender needs to comply with the directive.
- Choosing an Approved Provider: California has specific requirements for IID providers. Offenders must select a state-approved IID provider for installation. These providers must comply with the state's regulations and maintain accurate records.
- Installation Appointment: The individual must schedule an appointment with the chosen IID provider for installation. The provider will install the device and provide necessary instructions on its usage and maintenance.
- Costs and Maintenance: Offenders are responsible for the costs associated with IID installation and maintenance. These costs can include installation fees, monthly rental charges, calibration fees, and removal expenses after the mandated period.
Duration of IID Requirement
For a first-time offender, the period of mandatory IID installation is 6 months. For a second offense, the period lasts 1 year. For a third offense, the period is up to 2 years. Lastly, a fourth or subsequent offense carries a 3-year IID installation period.
What Happens If I Drive Without an IID?
In California, violating the terms and conditions associated with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) can result in serious consequences. According to Vehicle Code 23247(e), operating a motor vehicle on a restricted license without an IID installed in the vehicle is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 6 months and a fine of up to $5,000.
Furthermore, if an individual violates the IID terms, the court may extend the period during which the device must remain installed in their vehicle. Violating IID terms can also lead to the suspension or revocation of the offender's driver's license.