Ignition interlock device use in California

Residents in California who have been accused of and arrested for a suspected drunk driving offense will want to educate themselves about the potential penalties they may face if they are ultimately convicted of driving under the influence. One of the potential issues for people in this situation is the loss of their driving privileges. Some drivers, however, may be able to reinstate their ability to drive if they install and use an ignition interlock device.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles explains that in some counties around the state, a pilot program was initiated requiring IIDs for even first-time drunk driving offenses. Other counties may have different guidelines for IID use. In either case, if a driver is mandated to have an ignition interlock device installed in order to be legally allowed to drive, there are certain requirements they must meet.

One of the requirements is the submission of proof that an IID was installed by an approved vendor. This must be provided within a set period of time. As explained by one IID manufacturer, Intoxalock, an ignition interlock device electronically controls a vehicle’s ignition and prevents an initial start of the engine unless a driver provides a clean breath sample.

If a breath test is passed and the vehicle is allowed to be started, a driver must be prepared to take subsequent tests at random times while actively driving despite the fact that handheld use of cell phones or other electronic devices may not be allowed. If one of these tests is failed, a vehicle’s horn my honk and lights flash until the vehicle is brought to a stop and the engine turned off.



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