As part of sentencing for a DUI in California, you may be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your car. Ignition Interlock Devices, or IIDs, are wired into your car ignition, requiring you to provide a clean breath sample to start the car. In the California counties that participate in the Ignition Interlock Device Pilot Program, to include Tulare, Alameda, Los Angeles and Sacramento County, all people convicted of a DUI are required to install an IID in their car. This applies to convictions between July 1, 2010 and December 31, 2015. You may be ordered to install an IID in your car if convicted of a DUI in other counties, however it is not mandatory in every case. For first time DUI offenders in one of these California counties, you will need to have an IID in your car for five months. This increases to 12 months with your second DUI, 24 months for your third DUI and 36 months for your fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within the last ten years. You will need to provide the DMV with proof of installation in order to have your driver's license reinstated. Generally, the installer of the device will submit a form to the DMV to demonstrate that it has been installed.
IIDs can be installed at any number of certified installation service centers. It is important to note that you must install an IID in every car you own or operate, regardless of who owns it or shares it with you. The IID restriction period not only requires you to have an IID in your car for that time, but it forbids you from driving any vehicle without an IID installed. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for an exemption from the IID order. In order to obtain an exception, you much apply for one through the DMV within 30 days of being notified by the DMV of the IID requirement. In order to be granted an exemption, you must certify that you do not own a vehicle or have access to a vehicle at your residence and you no longer have access to the car you were driving at the time you got your DUI. This may involve submitting proof you sold your vehicle or demonstrating some other reason why you do not have access to a vehicle. If someone else owns the car but you occasionally drive it or have access to it, you will still have to install an IID in it. In this case, you will need permission from the owner to have it installed and they will have to provide breath samples in order to use their car as well. Likewise, if someone else uses your car with an IID in it, they must provide the breath sample, not you. Unfortunately, if your car is non-operative, you may still have to have an IID installed, even if you don't drive it. If you have several cars, the cost of having an IID installed in all of them can be great. The cost of the IID will include installation, a rental fee for the device as well as periodic maintenance and calibration services. If the cost to install an IID in every car you own or operate is prohibitive, you may qualify for an exemption to one or more of your vehicles or you may qualify for a reduced cost program that lessens the financial burden of installing an IID.
In order to qualify for the exemption, you must also agree to comply with the IID installation order should you gain access to a car you own or operate. Even if you gain an exemption because of these qualifying circumstances, you still are prevented from driving without a valid driver's license or driving any vehicle without an IID. This can pose a problem if you plan to rent a car, as most car rental agencies do not provide IID equipped vehicles. Also, if you own or operate a motorcycle, you may be out of luck. As of this time, there are no court approved IIDs for motorcycles, scooters, mopeds or similar two-wheeled vehicles. While you can't be ordered to install an IID in your motorcycle, you are still prohibited from riding it until your IID restriction period has ended and your California driving privileges are reinstated. Unfortunately, it may take longer for you to get back on the road again if you drive a motorcycle for this reason. Failing to fulfill your IID installation requirement will result in serious consequences. If you fail to install an IID in every vehicle you own and/or operate, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and may face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you cannot fulfill your IID installation requirement to ensure you do what it takes to gain an exemption from the order.
Have you or a loved one recently been convicted of a DUI and have been ordered to install an IID in your car? DUI defense attorney Christopher Martens knows DUI defense and will fight for your rights. Serving the Visalia and Fresno areas, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can provide expert DUI defense counsel and will ensure you fulfill the requirements of your IID installation order. Call our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.