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What Is An Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

  • September 1, 2017

    The efforts to limit the instances of DUI has led to the push by law enforcement agencies across the country to look for innovative approaches along the way. One of the examples that’s gained a good deal of acceptance and has sometimes reduced the prospect of jail time for some offenders is the ignition interlock device (IID).

    The Basics of Cost and Usage

    When someone is convicted of a DUI, they can be instructed by the court to install an IID in their vehicle. In some cases, that may be after a first DUI, but subsequent convictions will mandate its use. The cost of renting this device in California from an authorized company every month for a maximum of three years in California is roughly $75, with some areas of the country being more expensive. An installation fee of at least $100 is also necessary, with all of the inherent costs borne by the individual having it installed.

    By doing this, the individual is prevented from starting that vehicle until they pass a blood alcohol (BAC) test by breathing into the IID, which is installed on the vehicle’s dashboard. While certain medications or other items may contain alcohol, generally any BAC reading higher than .04 will prevent the vehicle from being used.

    Being convicted of a DUI for the first time can result in an IID if probation or suspension of a driver’s license is connected to the conviction. In most cases, the need to use a vehicle for work purposes can mean having an IID installed, with full driving privileges eventually returned.

    Other reasons may come into play if a decree for an IID installation is issued. Chief among them are the refusal to take a Breathalyzer at the time of a DUI arrest, regardless of whether or not a conviction on the charge followed. A more serious basis can be due to an arrest and conviction on felony DUI charges because of an injury or death that resulted.

    Cheaters Never Prosper

    The makers of IID devices are well aware that some individuals who are required to install such devices will attempt to circumvent the process. Usually, this involves attempting to have another person whose BAC is below the accepted limit blow into the device, while other efforts to either tamper with the device or a simple refusal to undergo a test have also been attempted.

    Steps to prevent such efforts from succeeding have been put in place, with random tests part of the process. Besides being over the BAC-mandated limit, tampering with the IIC immediately results in the ignition locking, with the incident being recorded and the court subsequently informed of the attempt, which can result in serious consequences.

    If the vehicle starts but one of the random tests has been ignored, loud noises and flashing lights will come from the vehicle until that test is taken. In some of the newest models on the market, the individual taking the test will have a digital photo taken of them. If that fails to match the company database, the violation will also be reported.

    The Issue of Marijuana

    Even though marijuana doesn’t fall under this enforcement umbrella, the use of it prior to driving can result in a violation being detected. The reason is that particles from the drug could either prevent getting a true reading of your BAC or damage the device itself, which could be the start of more trouble and the expense of installing a new device.

    The Value of a Quality DUI Attorney

    Of course the easiest way to avoid this type of hassle is to not drink and drive, though the reality is that this type of enforcement will continue. Choosing an experienced DUI attorney in the state of California could potentially prevent any requirement to have the device installed or have it installed in lieu of a jail sentence.

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