Law Office of Ronald A. Cabanayan
Law Office of
Ronald A. Cabanayan

DUI ~ Criminal Defense ~ Immigration/Naturalization

Justice Is On Your Side

When does California make you install an ignition interlock?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2020 | DUI Defense

Drunk driving is a criminal offense that often results in recidivism or repeat offenses. Someone who has a history of impaired driving could potentially get behind the wheel after drinking again.

Despite efforts to reduce repeat offenses, they are still a relatively common occurrence. Increased penalties for subsequent charges does little to deter people from driving after drinking. Many states have had to turn to a direct testing approach to help prevent repeat DUI offenses.

Most states, including California, now require that some drivers convicted of drunk driving offenses install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles. When does a driver in California have to install a mandatory IID in their vehicle?

There are two circumstances that lead to IID installation

The California courts can order someone to install an IID in one of two situations. If someone causes a crash that leaves someone hurt, even if this is their first drunk driving offense or criminal charge, the state can require the installation of an IID in that person’s vehicle when they start to regain their driving privileges.

However, you don’t have to hurt someone or cause a crash to wind up ordered to install an IID in your vehicle. The California courts can also mandate IID installation for drivers with multiple previous drunk driving convictions on their record. The driving history of the person involved will influence how long the state requires that they keep the IID in their vehicle, although it will usually be for somewhere between two and four years. 

Defending against a DUI helps you avoid an IID

If you have an IID in your vehicle, there are restrictions on your license that prevent you from driving a vehicle without an IID. Every time you go to start your vehicle, you will have to perform a breath test. You also have to pay to have the device installed on your vehicle and routinely go in for maintenance and calibration.

Having an IID in your vehicle is both expensive and frustrating. Avoiding a conviction by defending against an impaired driving offense can sidestep the stress of installing an IID in your vehicle.