The start of the new year has brought big changes in the state of California, especially for motorists who have been previously convicted of driving under the influence. In a statewide effort to deter impaired driving, a new law is now in effect that requires repeated DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device (IID) into their vehicles. Under SB 1046, these motorists must use the device for a designated period to fully restore their driving privileges.
An IID is essentially a breathalyzer. It’s the size of a cellular phone and is electrically wired into your vehicle’s ignition system. To start the vehicle, a motorist must blow into this device. Then, it will measure, based on a pre-set limit of .02, if the driver is sober enough to safely drive. If a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the limit, the IID locks down for a few minutes, with a longer lockout for subsequent failed tests. Second and third chances are given for people who may have used mouthwash shortly before using the device, as it will trigger a positive test result. After a few minutes, however, the alcohol in the mouthwash should dissolve.
As you drive, the IID may request a “running retest,” in which you’ll be required to blow into the locks periodically until you get to your destination. If drivers don’t pass this test, the horn will be set to honk or lights will flash, alerting law enforcement that said motorist is impaired.
As of now, DUI offenders must install an IID under the following circumstances:
- First offense DUI with no injury: offenders choose between a six-month IID period or a one-year restricted license
- First offense DUI with injury: mandatory IID for one year
- Second DUI offense: mandatory IID for one year
- Third DUI offense: mandatory IID for two years
- Fourth and subsequent DUIs: mandatory IID for three years
Offenders will also be responsible for paying for the IID itself, its installation, and its calibration. It costs $70-$150 to install, and about $60-80 to cover calibration and monitoring.
California is late on the bandwagon of enforcing IIDs as a repercussion for DUI offenders. It’s the 31st state to approve these devices.
Been Charged With a DUI? You Need an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI in Santa Rosa, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The sooner an attorney can get on a case, the sooner they can start building a solid defense. A DUI is a serious charge that requires aggressive and experienced representation. The dedicated attorneys of Wilber Law Offices have represented thousands of clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony DUIs, have helped get their sentences reduced, and in some cases even have gotten the charges dismissed. They can do the same for you. Contact Wilber Law Offices today online or by phone for your free consultation.