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Understanding Ignition Interlock Devices in California

San Jose criminal defense attorney

If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), chances are you may be required to install an ignition interlock device. These devices are required in some states as a consequence for individuals convicted of a DUI, but California law varies depending on the county. In order to understand how and when IIDs are used, we must first define the different types of suspensions that can result from a DUI.

Administrative Suspension vs. Suspension from the Criminal Court

An administrative suspension occurs immediately after a person is arrested on suspension of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are pulled over by police and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or more, your license is immediately suspended. For those under age 21, the BAC legal limit is only .01 percent. If you blow higher than the legal limit on a Breathalyzer test or refuse to take a chemical BAC test, your license will be confiscated. You will receive a temporary 30-day license in order to get your personal affairs in order before your subsequent trial. Do not drive after the 30 days has elapsed.

If you are convicted of a DUI in a criminal court after a trial or plea agreement, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. If you are sentenced in Los Angeles, Tulare, Alameda, or Sacramento County, an IID is required by law. Other California county courts may require an IID at their discretion. The amount of time a person must have the IID installed on their vehicle varies depending on previous criminal charges and as well as other factors.

How Do You Use an Ignition Interlock Device?

The IID works very similarly to a Breathalyzer test in that it estimates the amount of alcohol a person has consumed based on the amount of alcohol in their breath. If you are required to get an IID installed on your vehicle, you will have to breathe into the device in order to start your car and then blow several more times throughout your drive. The device measures the amount of alcohol in your breath and calculates your blood alcohol content. If your BAC is above 0.03 percent, the vehicle will not start. You must wait for this lockout period to end before submitting a new breath test in order to start the vehicle.

Contact San Jose Criminal Lawyer Wesley Schroeder

If you have been chargd with a DUI in California, an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney can help you determine your best course of action for moving forward. Contact Wesley J. Schroeder, Attorney at Law, today. Call (408) 277-­0377 to schedule an appointment with our firm.