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What you should know about ignition interlock devices

If you have been convicted of a DUI in California, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In Tulare, Alameda, Sacramento or Los Angeles counties, this is mandatory; however, those convicted in other counties are at the mercy of the judge presiding of the case. Interlock devices enable you to continue driving to work and school even with a DUI conviction.

Interlock devices are installed directly into the ignition system of the car with a dashboard monitor that may or may not have a camera. In order to start your car, you must exhale into a tube connected to the device, which will analyze your blood alcohol content level. If your BAC measures at or above a preset level, the vehicle will not start, and will lockup for a certain amount of time before you can attempt to start it again. Once the car is started, you may be prompted to breathe into the tube periodically to keep the vehicle going.

All the information regarding startup attempts, BAC levels and rolling tests are recorded in the device. This data is then transmitted to law enforcement when you take your vehicle in for IID maintenance. The length of time you are required to leave the device in the car depends on whether you have any previous DUIs. If you are convicted of your first DUI, you will need to keep the IID for 5 months to a year. Two DUIs may require up to two years. After four DUIs, you may be charged with a felony.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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