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Arrested for a DUI? What California’s Ignition Interlock Device Law Means for You

You’ve been arrested for a DUI. You feel like your entire life has been turned upside down. How will you tell your family? What about your employer? How will you get to work?

While you could be in for a bit of a bumpy ride, you may be surprised to know that all driving privileges might not be lost. There are so many options for you that you likely don’t know about yet.

If you received a DUI after January 1, 2019, you may be able to continue driving with the help of an IID. California State Senate Bill 1046 intends to reduce the recurrence of drunk driving and may offer you a path to continue driving while ensuring your sobriety and the safety of other drivers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control in 2011, there has been a 67% reduction of drunk driving repeat offenses when IIDs are installed. And it’s the responsible step to take. The average person arrested has driven drunk an estimated 80 times previously.


Installed onto the steering column of your car, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a breathalyzer you’re required to use to start the car. The car will not start if you have alcohol on your breath.

To ensure compliance, every 5 to 15 minutes, the IID takes “rolling” samples followed by check-ins every 45 minutes or so. There’s never an exact timing to it, and this helps ensure someone who hasn’t been drinking can’t simply blow into the IID of a friend or family member. The IID does allow a driver a six-minute window to breathe into it, accounting for events like needing to pull off the road. Any failures — or attempting to tamper with — the device will be recorded and reported to the court.

You likely didn’t know about this option when searching for DUI lawyers in Hanford, Fresno, Merced, Visalia or other Central Valley DUI lawyers in the area. However, the IID is a potentially helpful tool to protect all drivers on the road and help you maintain at least some driving privileges.


Let’s start with the benefits. If your license has been suspended and it’s your first offense with no injury involved, you may be able to restore your full driving privileges soon after arrest by showing proof of voluntary installation of an IID and driving with it for 6 months.

Without an IID, you may also be subject to a complete four-month suspension. Or you may receive a 30 day suspension followed by a 5-month restricted license allowing travel only to work, school, medical appointments, and a drug/alcohol treatment program.

The following is a summary of all mandatory IID installation requirements courtesy of the office of Senator Jerry Hill from the 13th Senate District of California:

  • 1st DUI offense with no injury: offender chooses 6-month IID with full driving privileges or 1-year restricted license (to and from work/treatment program)
  • 1st DUI offense with injury: IID for 12 months
  • 2nd DUI offense: IID for one years
  • 3rd DUI offense: IID for two years
  • 4th and subsequent DUI: IID for three years


While the IID is often a preferred option after a DUI, there are times when a person may believe it is not the best solution for them. Typically, it’s either because the cost is a concern or someone is worried about the device being discovered.

Let’s address these one at a time. The cost for installation of an IID is your responsibility and is up to $150. The monthly costs are estimated to be approximately $3 per day. There may be additional costs associated with required calibration and 60-day servicing.

As for concerns about the visibility of the IID, this can be a particularly sensitive issue in cultures or religions where drinking is off limits. At Proper Defense, your concerns in this area will be handled as delicately and expertly as your legal case.

For your best outcome and to minimize the damages of a DUI arrest in a judgment-free zone, contact Proper Defense Law Corporation today for a FREE consultation at (559) 825-3800 or schedule an appointment online on my ‘Contact Us’ page. It gets better with Proper Defense, I promise.

Please note, Proper Defense serves all areas in the Greater Central Valley area, including those looking for a Coalinga DUI Attorney, Fresno DUI attorney, Kingsburg DUI Attorney, Hanford DUI attorney, Madera DUI attorney, Merced DUI Attorney, Porterville DUI Attorney, Reedley DUI Attorney, Sanger DUI Attorney, Selma DUI Attorney, Tulare DUI Attorney, Visalia DUI Attorney.


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