The Ignition Interlock Device


One of the most feared consequences of the California DUI is the ignition interlock device. Fortunately, the ignition interlock device is not required for all California DUI convictions. Whether a person will have to install an ignition interlock device will depend on a few things.

Before I talk about whether a person will have to install an ignition interlock device, let me remind you all of what exactly it is.

In short, the ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that is installed into the dash of a vehicle and connected to the ignition. The driver of the vehicle must provide a breath sample with a blood alcohol content reading below a preset limit between 0.02 and 0.04 percent, depending on the state, before the vehicle can be started. Once the vehicle is started, the driver must provide breath samples at random times while the vehicle is operational.

In most counties in California, the ignition interlock device is a discretionary term of DUI probation. This means that a judge can order installation of the ignition interlock device if he or she feels as though it would be an appropriate punishment for a DUI. Usually this happens when the driver has suffered prior DUI convictions, someone who had a high blood alcohol content, or someone who refused a chemical test following the DUI arrest.

However, in January of 2010 Assembly Bill 91 became law and made the installation of an ignition interlock device mandatory in four counties as part of a new pilot program aimed at reducing drunk driving repeat offenses. The counties affected by the law were Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare, and Sacramento.

The law requiring the ignition interlock device in the abovementioned counties, California Vehicle Code section 23700, in part reads:

"Before a driver’s license may be issued, reissued, or returned to a person after a suspension…of that person’s driving privilege that requires the installation of an ignition interlock device…"

The length of time that a person must have the ignition interlock device installed for depends on how many prior DUI convictions the person has had. A first time offense carries a 5-month installation period. A second time offense carries a 12-month installation period. A third time offense carries a 24-month installation period. A fourth time offense carries a 36-month installation period.

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One Response to The Ignition Interlock Device

  1. Shannon Ashton says:

    Shannon I had a horrible felony dui in Az in 2007. I now reside in Nj thank goodness!!! Where I was born and raised. Anyway I was wondering it has been almost ten years now I got my life together doing well, live in Ocean City Nj. I’ve never received one driving under suspension ever, I didn’t want to chance it!!! I do have a red light ticket which I cannot believe is from approximately 11 years old . Which I was told I have to pay. Is it true now there is no statute limitations, which stinks that’s what I’ve been told by Az about 5 years ago. I have to get the breath alizer still I don’t even live there anymore, Then download some mpaper work to send back to them which takes 90 days for them to review approval to receive a license??? Not even in your state so frustrating because I made a huge mistake however I do believe I learned my lesson and paid my dues!!! Almost ten years now I haven’t driven a car, because I didn’t want to risk getting caught under suspension not worth it. I went to court etc completed probation successfully, etc. My ex husband has a CDL he received 3 dui back in the 80 ties early 90 ties. Anyone know please 🙂 if there is anything or anyone I can write to talk to, plead to see that I believe I deserve a chance again. My boyfriend has a car but he is no way going to put that device in his vehicle!!!! If I had the big dollars I’m sure I be driving. However I don’t for an exspensive lawyer wish I did . Almost 10 years I miss driving so bad . But I pretty much gave up. Because Nj says one thing Az says another like I just like to drive please. I believe never being pulled over under suspension to me is a accomplishment and I wish they see that people make bad decisions some learn some don’t. Anyway sorry so long I just decided to look this up if anyone has any suggestions answers greatly appreciated:) Went through some hard times getting it all together now hard work perseverance, I call DMV in Az after 10 years almost getting treated like scum of earth on phone can’t get straight answer, Nj pretty much same call Az like wth??? It’s been 10 years. So please please anyone has any answers, suggestions, at this point I’m brave enough to post my number with my email this is the only missing puzzle of a not so good 8 to 10 years. Job now great guy live by the beach, just want to feel completely normal again, drive if not I ride my bike but I believe this I wish and hope can just be buried in the past. As I’ve done everything else:) Thank you I apologize long questions just at my end wits, and figured can’t get answers from DMV try this. Any lawyers can even take notice of these questions please call me, Realize of course not free services however I’m at the point if affordable and can help me restore my license, any suggestions I’ll do it. 609-382-6096 is my cell number. I’ll write letter whatever I have to do, device after 9 years just ridiculous in my opinion. Especially no driving under suspension in 9 years!!! Cell again is 609-382-6096 thank you have a great day all 🙂 This doesn’t work bike rest of my life,yes it’s nice good exercise but this is getting old. I cannot believe there is no statute limitations anymore. Really stinks!!! ?Maybe next year be behind the wheel I hope:) Drive safe all don’t even drive with 2 beers anymore it’s so much more worth a 20 30 even 50 dlr uber to get home safe and also not have to go through so much to drive again.

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