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When must California drivers install an IID in their vehicles?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2023 | DUI Defense |

There are many possible penalties that the courts can impose after a drunk driving conviction. A criminal judge can sentence someone to a stint in state custody, suspend their driver’s license and impose fines that they must pay. Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are also common after driving under the influence (DUI) charges in California.

An IID is a small device professionally installed in a motor vehicle. The driver of that vehicle must pass a test to be able to start it to drive and may need to retest occasionally as they continue driving. IIDs are both inconvenient and costly. People have to pay to have them installed and cover the cost of regular maintenance for these devices. Someone subject to an IID requirement must install a device in any vehicle they intend to drive while still subject to licensing restrictions after a DUI.

When are IIDs necessary for motorists in California?

Judges often decide if an IID is necessary

A judge’s discretion often comes into play. A judge can decide to order IID installation in cases involving a first-time DUI offense. Particularly if someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.15% or higher, a judge may decide to order the installation of an IID. The same is true of a first offense involving a refusal to submit to testing. Finally, IIDs are possible for those accused of driving with a suspended license if the suspension related to a DUI conviction.

Other times, state law mandates the installation of an IID in the vehicles someone will drive after a conviction. Those who have more than one DUI on their record or those who cause injury to others while driving drunk. People with two DUI convictions usually need to have an IID in their vehicles for at least a year. The mandatory period increases to two years for a third offense and three years for a fourth or subsequent conviction. Anyone caught driving a vehicle without an IID could face additional penalties.

For those in certain circumstances, only a successful defense against pending charges could prevent an IID requirement. Ultimately, learning more about how California penalizes impaired driving violations may inspire some people to fight their charges instead of pleading guilty.