If you are convicted of driving under the influence, among the many potential penalties you will face is a requirement for you to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, in every vehicle that is registered to you. These devices are types of breathalyzers that are attached to the dash of your car. They function by blocking the signal that goes from your ignition switch to your vehicle’s starter until and unless you are able to blow into them and give a breath sample that is free of alcohol. If your breath passes, your vehicle will start and you can drive.
What happens when your breath fails
If your breath sample fails, you will be unable from starting your vehicle by the IID. While you are driving or when your engine is running, the device may alert you and require you to give additional breath samples at random. When this happens, the device gives you a few moments to pull over on the side of the road to give the required sample if your vehicle is moving. If the device detects alcohol on your breath while you are driving, it will be recorded. The device may then sound your vehicle’s alarm system until you turn off the vehicle or provide a breath sample that passes. It does not automatically stop your vehicle if you give a sample that fails while you are traveling, however.
Because of potential issues that happen with people asking others to provide a clean breath sample for an IID, California law has made that activity illegal. Ignition interlock devices are made to require a specific pattern of breathing from the person who is ordered to use them. Modern devices will record all attempts to disconnect or tamper with them, all results that are obtained and every time your engine starts. Your probation or parole officer will have access to these records. If there are problems with your records, your officer may then use the information as a basis to support revoking your parole or probation.
When judges order that a person installs an IID
Under California law, judges are granted the discretion to order any person who is convicted of a DUI to install an interlock ignition device on all of the vehicles registered to him or her. People who are convicted of driving while their licenses were suspended for a DUI conviction may also be ordered to install one of these systems. The severity of the crime of conviction will determine the duration that will be required for the device to be installed in your vehicle.
Dealing with having an interlock ignition device
While it may be very annoying or embarrassing to be ordered by a judge to install and use an ignition interlock device, it is not permanent. If you are convicted of drunk driving, and you are able to complete all of the terms and conditions imposed by the court at your sentencing, you will be able to have the device removed. It is better to have to deal with the embarrassment and frustration caused by using an ignition interlock device than not to be able to drive at all.
If you or a friend are facing drunk driving charges in southern California, it is important to get help from a criminal defense attorney who has experience fighting against such cases. Criminal defense lawyer Scott D. Henry is the leading DUI defense lawyer in Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange County, California. To schedule your consultation with our attorney, we invite you to call our firm today.