If you are facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI) in California and this is not your first offense, you might be issued an ignition interlock device. What is an ignition interlock device? Simply put, this is a device that is put into your vehicle and prevents it from starting if you have been drinking. This device works like a Breathalyzer test.
The person who has been assigned this device will be required to blow into it if he or she wants the vehicle to start. Some devices are pre-programmed to lock a vehicle’s ignition if the person records a set level regarding his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). For some, if any alcohol is in a person’s system, the ignition will lock. For others, it can be a specific BAC level.
Should the driver’s sample have alcohol in it, the ignition will lock and the driver will need to wait to take another test using the device. The first lockout lasts just a couple of minutes. Any subsequent tests with alcohol present will lead to lengthier lockout times of the ignition.
These devices can also conduct rolling re-tests. These are when the driver is required to breathe into the device when driving. If alcohol is detected the vehicle’s horn will sound and lights will flash, alerting the driver to pull to the side of the road and stop driving. The vehicle will not shut down in the middle of being operated.
The ignition interlock device records all of the test data and sends it to the entity that ordered the device be placed in a person’s vehicle.
An ignition interlock device is typically issued to someone who has been involved in more than one DUI. It can be part of a release program or deal worked out with a prosecutor involved in your case in San Jose.
Source: Findlaw, “Defenses to Drunk Driving,” accessed April 04, 2018