Many Californians who get a DUI will be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device in any vehicle they drive or own, except for employer-owned vehicles. Ignition Interlock Devices, or IIDs, are mandatory for those with first-time DUI convictions in Alameda, Sacramento, Los Angeles, or Tulare County. You may still be ordered to install an IID in your vehicle if your DUI conviction is in another California county at the judge's discretion. You may also voluntarily choose to install an IID without a court order. In certain cases, this can shorten your license suspension period. If you drive a motorcycle, you may be wondering whether you can install one in your bike. Although the order will require you to install an IID in any vehicle you own or drive, there are of course exceptions. For the purposes of this specific law, motorcycles are not considered vehicles. Currently, no commercial IID manufacturers make IIDs that can be installed in motorcycles. This is due to safety concerns. Motorcycles are increasingly becoming a popular mode of transportation because of their fuel economy, lower insurance rates and space efficiency, so it is possible IIDs safe for motorcycles will be made in the future, but for now motorcyclists do not have that option.
So, if you've already been ordered to install an IID as part of your DUI sentencing, what do you do if the vehicle you own or drive is a motorcycle? With over 850,000 registered motorcycles in the State of California, this is a very important question. You won't be penalized for failure to install, but you will have to get an exemption from the requirement. To do this, you must apply for an exemption within 30 days of the IID order. The application will require you to declare under penalty of perjury that you do not own a vehicle, you no longer have access to a vehicle at your place of residence, and/or you no longer have access to the vehicle you drove at the time you got your DUI. You must also certify that you can only drive with a valid license and in a vehicle equipped with an IID. Remember, for the purposes of this specific DUI sentencing requirement, motorcycles are not considered vehicles. If you own another vehicle or have access to one, you can only get the exemption for the motorcycle.
If you fail to get an exemption and do not submit proof of installation, you could face harsh consequences. You could face up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for failing to provide proof of installation without having an exemption. Similarly, if you drive your motorcycle at all within your suspension period, you can face jail time and/or fines. Certain offenders may benefit from a shortened license suspension period if they install an IID. Unfortunately, those with motorcycles cannot reap this benefit. If a motorcyclist is ordered to install an IID, he or she will be prevented from riding a motorcycle for the duration of the ordered IID period. For example, if you were ordered to have an IID installed for a period of five months, but you rode a motorcycle, you could not drive your motorcycle for those five months at all. Motorcyclists are spared, however, from the cost and inconvenience of having an IID installed and maintained. In some cases, the benefits will outweigh the costs.
If you have been ordered to install an IID in any vehicle you own or drive but your vehicle is a motorcycle, you will have to take action to ensure you are not penalized for failing to submit proof of installation. To ensure you face no penalties for failing to provide proof of installation, consult with an experienced California DUI defense attorney about your case. An attorney experienced in DUI laws can ensure you take all the necessary steps to fulfill the requirements of your sentencing and can help you submit your application for an exemption within the deadline.
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested and are being charged with a DUI in the Tulare, Fresno or Kings County area, call experienced DUI defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can assess your case and advise you on what penalties you may face and how to challenge your charges. Attorney Martens has over ten years of criminal defense experience and will fight hard for your rights. Contact our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.