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New California Ignition Interlock Device Law in 2019

Posted by Ryan Wilber | Dec 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

One of the many consequences of a DUI conviction in California is the loss of your driver's license. Drivers have to meet a number of requirements before they can get their license reinstated. Until now, it was up to judges in Sonoma County whether to make drivers install an ignition interlock device (IID) after a first-time DUI. However, a new law will require all drivers convicted of any DUI to install an IID in order to drive without an actual "off-th-road" suspension, which for first-time DUI arrestees is 30-days, and even more if you have a prior.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An IID is like a breathalyzer for your car. The device is installed and requires the driver to provide a clean breath sample before the vehicle will start. Once the car is started, the device will require regular “rolling” samples for the car to continue. If the device detects alcohol, the car will not start and the device will record the failed test.

Drivers who require an IID have to install the device on all vehicles and are responsible for paying for installation, fees, and regular calibration. Any failed test results will be reported to the DMV or the court, and the driver may have his or her driving privileges suspended or revoked. Tampering with the device or trying to bypass the IID can also result in losing driving privileges.

New Law Goes Into Effect January 1, 2019

Until now, it was up to a judge's discretion whether to impose IID restrictions on drivers for a first offense DUI. Beginning January 1, 2019, all counties will require an IID for all DUI convictions. Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1046 into law which will make individuals with a DUI suspension eligible for a restricted driver's license with an IID.

Four counties have been participating in an IID pilot program since 2010 (Alameda, Tulare, Los Angeles, and Sacramento). The new law takes the program statewide. However, the new law will also allow drivers to get an IID-restricted license without having to wait out the license suspension period.

This can be good news for drivers who need a car to get to work, school, or for childcare. Previously, drivers had to wait out a mandatory suspension period (generally 30 days for a first-time six-month license suspension), before they could apply for a restricted license. Under the new law, drivers will be able to get a restricted license as soon as the IID is installed and verified by the DMV.

The new law is effective until January 1, 2026. However, the law may be extended if the state determines it is effective in reducing multiple DUI arrests and accidents.

How Long Will I Have an IID?

The IID requirement depends on the type of DUI charge. However, the IID restriction may be extended if the driver has failed IID tests, attempts to bypass the device, or is involved in other alcohol-related accidents or violations.

DUI Offense

IID Restriction Period

1st DUI

6 months

2nd DUI

1 year

3rd DUI

2 years

4th (or subsequent) DUI

3 years

What If I Don't Want to Install an IID?

Simple. On a first time DUI, you may still absorb a 30-day, off-the-road suspension, followed by five months of restricted driving (this means to/from work, school, and your DUI class).

Santa Rosa / Sonoma County DUI Defense Lawyers

If you are pulled over after a New Year's Eve party, contact DUI defense lawyers who will fight for you. Call the Santa Rosa DUI defense team at Wilber Law Offices as soon as possible to make sure you maintain all possible avenues of defense. Contact Wilber Law Offices today for a FREE consultation at (707) 527-3451.

About the Author

Ryan Wilber

R. Ryan Wilber has wanted to be a criminal defense litigator since his first year of college. While attending the Santa Rosa Junior College, Ryan concentrated on communications, criminal justice, and sociology. Notably, Ryan experienced a lecture from Greg Jacobs, the prosecutor in the Richard Al...


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