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How Are Interlock Ignition Devices Used in DUI Cases?

Under Senate Bill 1046, people who get convicted of a DUI will have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle to get their full driving privileges back. The ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer and prevents the driver from starting the car if they are not sober.

Interlock ignition devices may be a possible consequence if it is your first DUI offense, first refusal of a chemical blood or breath test, first offense of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0,08% or greater, or if you have been driving with suspended license violations due to DUI convictions. Interlock ignition devices will be a mandatory consequence if you have repeated DUI convictions and if you are charged with a DUI that caused injury. More specifically, first time DUI offenses involving injury require a 6-month interlock ignition device requirement. First time non-injury causing DUI offenses can either require a 6-month interlock ignition device requirement with driving privileges OR a 1-year restricted license and attending a treatment program. Second time DUI offenses require a 1-year interlock ignition device requirement. Third time DUI offenses require a 2-year interlock ignition device requirement. Four or more DUI offenses require a 3-year interlock ignition device requirement.

So how does it work? It is a small device that connects to the ignition of a vehicle that measures a user’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). Drivers must periodically provide breath samples throughout each trip to verify the absence of alcohol. The device also tracks the driver’s activity to provide a record of any violations to the state’s monitoring department. You have 6 minutes to provide a sample, so if you do not feel safe providing one at the moment, then you may pull over to do so. If the driver does not pass, then the vehicle will register it as a “fail” on the driver’s log. However, if you feel that it is a false positive, then you will be given the opportunity to retry immediately.

If you are facing DUI charges, then it is pertinent that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. A skilled attorney may be able to help you avoid fines, loss of your driver’s license, and jail time. We understand that these charges can arise from a simple mistake, lack of judgment, or even a complete misunderstanding. Contact The Nieves Law Firm today for a free consultation!

Author Bio

Jo-Anna Nieves is the Founder and Managing Attorney of The Nieves Law Firm, an Oakland criminal defense law firm she created in 2012. With more than 11 years of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, domestic violence, expungement, federal crimes, juvenile law, motions to vacate, sex crimes, violent crimes, and other criminal charges.

Jo-Anna received her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Super Lawyer Rising Star the past 8 years, the #12 Fastest Growing Law Firm in the U.S. by Law Firm 500 in 2019, and one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. by Inc 5000 in 2023.

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