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Articles Posted in Ignition Interlock Device

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An ignition interlock device (IID) is a small breathalyzer that is installed on the steering column of your automobile, and also any vehicles you own and have access to operate. These devices are typically installed after a judge has ordered it to be installed in your vehicle when on probation for a California DUI.

The device is roughly the size of a cell phone. It prevents you from starting the vehicle without having first blown into the device and providing an alcohol-free breath sample. Once the vehicle is started, it will ask for random samplings after approximately 10 to 15 minutes and then again at 45 minute intervals.

When the vehicle is being operated, you will have adequate time to pull over and provide a breath sample; you will have several minutes to submit your sample. Some devices cause the vehicle to stop operating and then the horn begins to honk. If you should fail the breath test at any of the scheduled intervals at which you must provide a breath sample, the IID will indicate that you failed.sThe failure will then be reported to the court that ordered the installation of the device.

To prevent others from providing a breath sample for you, the IID requires a specific breath pattern and has a cord that will not reach the passenger or the rear seats. Needless to say, it is a crime to get someone to provide a breath sample for you or to in any way tamper with or attempt to disconnect the IID.

Any individual who has been convicted of a DUI in California can be ordered to have an IID installed. Generally speaking, a judge will not order the installation of an IID for first time DUI offenders, unless the BAC is at or higher than .15 or if you refused a breath or blood test. However, beginning in July 2010 every person convicted of a first time misdemeanor DUI in Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare and Sacramento counties must have an IID installed, usually for six months or less. If the DUI resulted in an injury, you may have an IID for one full year.

Repeat offenders will be ordered to have an IID installed for one full year for a second DUI conviction, two years for a third and three years for a fourth.

All approved IID installation facilities must be registered and issued a license by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs. Installation charges are roughly $100, in addition to approximately $75 per month for monitoring fees. You are also responsible for all maintenance and calibration expenses. The installation does not damage your vehicle and can be removed following the completion of your DUI probation.

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Many of our clients have inquired about the maintenance and use of the Ignition Interlock Device. While this is all new law, being a pilot project, we have been able to answer the following commonly asked questions.

Does the device cause damage to my car and will other people be able to continue to drive my car?

Other people will be able to drive your vehicle but will have to also blow into the machine before starting the vehicle. Those that will potentially drive the car should also be educated on the use of the machine. The installation of the device will not cause damage to the vehicle, and it will be restored to the same condition it was before the installation of the device.

There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the new Ignition Interlock Device now required by law in Los Angeles County for those convicted of a DUI. As with any new law, there remains many loopholes and issues that have not been accounted for. Even as a pilot project, it seems to be fairly difficult to “fool” the ignition interlock machine in any of the following ways.

Can someone use a balloon or other air source to mimic human breath, or can someone else take the test for the driver?

The device currently has anti-circumvention techniques which allow the machine to abort any phony breath samples. This allows it to instantly detect when actual human breath is not being blown into the device and will cause the machine to report the failed sample. Furthermore, you may not have someone else legally take the breath test on your behalf before starting the vehicle. According to California Vehicle Code §23247, it is illegal to have another person blow into the device or to start a vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of allowing someone whose driving privilege has been suspended to operate a vehicle. For those who aid in the circumvention of the machine, they can be fined or served jail time under California law.

The new Ignition Interlock law enacted in Los Angeles County seems to be vague and lacks a precise plan for enforcement by the DMV.sDue to it’s novice nature, many loopholes have been unaccounted for and many questions remain unanswered.

According to the specifics in the law, you are required to install the device into a vehicle that is owned by you. However, people are exempt from installing the device into their vehicle if they provide the DMV with a written notice of the fact that they have no ownership of a vehicle, that they have no access to a vehicle at his or her residence, that they understand that they must inform the DMV of any changes in their situation, and acknowledgement of licensing and IID requirements.

So if you do not own a car or have access to one, you would not be required to install the device. The DMV is also not requiring those people who drive a motorcycle to install one either. Additionally, many of our clients ask us about the law if they do not reside in one of the counties participating in the pilot program, but were arrested in one that does, or vice versa.

Many of our clients have been asking us regarding the Ignition Interlock Device law that went into effect on July 1, 2010. Nothing much has happened since it went into effect, leaving many people wondering how and when it would be enforced.

This law is a part of DUI law and is separate from Court order. The DMV is the one that will enforce and implement this new law. When you go to the DMV after having completed you license suspension, you will be required to install the ignition interlock device before you can receive a restricted license.

According to the law those that are convicted of a first time DUI offense will have to install the device for 5 months. Those with a second time DUI offense will install the device for 12 months, third time for 24 months and fourth time offenders for 36 months. Those with more enhanced or aggravated DUIs convicted under Vehicle Code 23153 will be required to have the device in their vehicle for a longer period of time.