When Do I Need an Ignition Interlock Device in California?

ignition interlock

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle that requires you to provide a breath sample before the engine will start. In California, IIDs are often required for drivers who have been convicted of DUI offenses as a condition to regain or maintain their driving privileges. Here's when you might need to install an IID in California:

  1. DUI Convictions: California law mandates that all drivers convicted of DUI must install an IID in their vehicles. This requirement is part of a statewide program aimed at preventing repeat offenses by ensuring that drivers are sober before they can start their vehicles.
  2. First DUI Offense: For a first DUI conviction, you may be required to install an IID for up to six months. This is a mandatory requirement if your DUI involved alcohol.
  3. Multiple DUI Offenses: If you have multiple DUI convictions, the required period for having an IID installed increases. For a second DUI offense, the IID must be installed for one year; for a third offense, two years; and for four or more DUI offenses, you will need to have the IID for three years.
  4. Refusal to Take a Chemical Test: If you refuse to take a chemical test when suspected of DUI, the court may order an IID installation as part of your sentencing, even if it's your first offense.
  5. Voluntary Installation: Some drivers may choose to install an IID voluntarily to reduce their suspension period or to demonstrate good faith in regaining their driving privileges. Voluntary installation may also influence the court to offer a more lenient sentence.

In all cases, the installation must be carried out by a certified provider, and the driver is responsible for all associated costs, including installation, maintenance, and monthly service fees. Additionally, regular checks are required to ensure the device is functioning correctly and that no violations have occurred.

It's essential to adhere to all regulations regarding IIDs to avoid further legal complications. Non-compliance can lead to extended IID requirements, additional fines, or more severe penalties. If you're facing a DUI conviction and think you might need an IID, contacting FR44 & SR22 Insurance Experts can provide you with guidance and support through the process, ensuring you meet all necessary legal obligations while finding cost-effective solutions for your situation.