Call today at: (559) 443-7442

Changes to California’s DUI Ignition Interlock Law

Dec 31, 2018 by Mike McKneely in Criminal Defense, DUI

In California, drunk driving kills thousands of individuals annually, and injures even more. Senate Bill 1046 aims to tackle this problem by expanding the state’s DUI Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program. An IID is a small electronic device that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) from a sample of your breath. The IID connects to the ignition system of your car, which will refuse to turn on if it detects any amount of alcohol in your breath. The IID also requires you to provide regular breath samples while you’re driving.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in California, contact a Fresno DUI lawyer for help right away. To schedule a free consultation with Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer, contact us today at (559) 443-7442.

California Expands IID Program

Senate Bill 1046 is an expansion of an IID pilot program that had been successfully implemented in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties. According to Senator Jerry Hill (D – San Mateo), the pilot program has “saved lives by preventing more than 1 million attempts to drink and drive since 2010.” If this is true, expanding the program to the rest of the state makes sense.

The bill will take effect on January 1, 2019. Until then, judges will continue to sentence drunk driving offenders to use an IID at their discretion. But next year, Senate Bill 1046 will take away the judges’ discretion and make IIDs mandatory in the following scenarios:

  • Six months of IID use for a first DUI causing injury
  • One year of IID use for a second DUI offense
  • Two years of IID use for a third DUI offense
  • Three years of IID use for a fourth or subsequent offense

Senate Bill 1046 extends the pilot programs in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare Counties until 2026. Under that program, DUI ignition interlock installation is mandatory after any DUI offense.

What Happens to You Driver’s License after You’re Required to Install an IID?

The bill is also designed to give offenders an incentive to request an IID themselves. If you get convicted of a first DUI offense (involving no injuries), you may keep your driver’s license if you install an IID and use it for six months. Otherwise, you can enroll in a substance abuse treatment program and request a one-year restricted license that authorizes you to drive to and from work. You can even request an IID after your arrest, and the time you spend using an IID will be counted towards any IID use period you are sentenced to after your DUI conviction.

It may cost anywhere from $70 to $150 to install the IID on your vehicle’s steering column. The monthly costs of monitoring and calibration range from $60 to $80 per month, or less than $3 per day. This is a good investment for anyone who absolutely needs to keep driving after a DUI arrest, but for some, it’s simply not affordable. Fortunately, California’s legislators foresaw this problem, and created an assistance program for low-income offenders. Depending on your annual income, you may only have to pay 10, 25, or 50 percent of the costs of installing and maintaining an IID in your car.

Contact a Fresno DUI Lawyer for Help Right Away

A drunk driving arrest can have devastating effects on your life. Senate Bill 1046 lessens the blow of a such a situation, and allows offenders to take matters into their own hands. Installing a DUI ignition interlock device doesn’t mean you’re guilty, it’s just a way of retaining your driving privileges while you and your attorney fight the charges in court.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, call Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer at (559) 443-7442, or reach out online to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.

COVID-19 Notice: Our firm is open and available to help. We are all being impacted in different ways, but we will all get through this together.Learn More