Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

You may have heard of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). This device is wired on a vehicle’s ignition and requires the driver to give a breath sample before the engine will start. When a vehicle is equipped with an IID, the engine will not start without a breath sample that is free of any alcohol detection. The IID also requires the driver to blow into the device periodically while driving (giving ample time first to pull over before providing the sample). An Orange County ignition interlock device lawyer can explain further details about the operation of the device.

In most counties, the law does not mandate that DUI offenders install an IID but the Court does have that option and will often exercise it, even with first-time offenders. In 2010, the Legislature enacted a pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare Counties. Under this law, IID installation is required for all DUI offenders, including first-time DUI offenders. The purpose of this pilot program was to assess the effectiveness of mandatory installation of IIDs for all DUI offenders. This statute required the DMV to report to lawmakers on the effectiveness of IIDs to help lawmakers decide whether require the program statewide. The Department of Motor Vehicles reported to the Legislature as required by the statute. The DMV’s study found that the IID pilot program did not result in a decrease in the number of DUI convictions in the pilot counties. The DMV has conducted a follow up study in order to assess whether the pilot program has any specific deterrence effects. As a knowledgeable ignition interlock device lawyer in Orange County can tell you, that report has not been released to the public. Other studies maintain that IIDs are effective deterrents to drunk driving.

While the law does not require installation of IIDs for DUI offenders, the law does require that those convicted of a second or third DUI (within ten years) install an IID if the offender wishes to apply for a restricted license to drive. For a driver convicted of driving on a suspended license when his or her license was suspended for a DUI, installation of an IID is required by law.

IIDs aren’t free. The driver is required to pay for the installation and the removal of the device. There is a daily fee of approximately $2.50 while the device is installed and periodic inspections and calibrations of the device may also be required at the driver’s expense. There are provisions for reduced costs for low-income offenders. An ignition interlock device attorney in Orange County can advise you if you are in this situation.

So, what’s to stop a driver ordered to install an IID from cheating the device. After all, you could just have someone else blow into the device. Well, to begin, there are very harsh penalties for both you and your accomplice if you are caught bypassing the device. Why even try? The IID includes an onboard camera that captures a picture of the person blowing into the IID. Additionally, the “rolling (or running) re-test,” that is the requirement that the driver blow into the device periodically while driving further defeats any attempts to cheat the device. There are other built-in mechanisms that serve to ensure the device is not cheated. This device is very difficult to trick indeed and any attempt to do so could even result in a jail sentence. An Orange County ignition interlock device attorney will advise drivers against trying to cheat the system.

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Anyone who is arrested should contact an experienced Orange County DUI Criminal Defense Attorney to determine whether or not their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, were violated.