The Future of DUI Penalties – The Ignition Interlock Device

As if the perils of a DUI conviction weren’t already daunting enough, several Southern California counties have begun a program to test the merits of installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car after a DUI related action.

Since July 1, 2010, individuals arrested and then convicted of a first offense DUI, in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Sacramento counties, will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on their vehicle.

First offenders will be required to install these devices for 5 months (12 months if an injury was involved). Despite proponents’ claims that these devices only cost $75 to install and $50/month to monitor, it’s likely citizens in the private sector will have to come out of pocket much more in the form of additional taxes eventually. A first time DUI offender should expect to pay at least $500 over and on top of the standard fees and penalties.

Under legislation currently before the Public Safety Committee, if you are arrested and then convicted of a second offense DUI you will be eligible for a restricted license after 90 days of actual suspension after installing the Ignition Interlock Device. In the four pilot counties, second offenders will be required to install the Ignition Interlock Devices for a minimum of twelve months.

While this program is, again, only a “pilot” program, Los Angeles County is one of the biggest around and it is logical to think that this program could someday soon pour over into the smaller counties looking to generate similar income from fines and installation.

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