Ignition Interlock Devices After a Los Angeles DUI

Monday, August 01, 2011

If you have been convicted of DUI in California, you may face a full license suspension.  However, in some cases, your Los Angeles DUI lawyer may also suggest an alternative to a license suspension- - getting an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. 

Ignition interlock devices are usually not required after a first-time DUI conviction, but courts will order the installation of the device if you have been driving under a suspended license.  Additionally, if you have been convicted of two DUI offenses within a ten-year period, you may be required to install a device in your car.

An ignition interlock device is a system that is installed in your car, and works like a breathalyzer to prevent you from driving if you're intoxicated.  The device is installed in the steering column of the car, and you will be trained to use the device before you operate your car.  To operate the device, you will be required to breathe into the device.  If the alcohol sample contains more than a specified amount of alcohol, then the device will lock down the ignition, preventing the car from starting.  The maximum amount of alcohol specified in the device is typically between .02% and .04%

You cannot ask another person to breathe into your device in order to start your vehicle.  Doing so would be a criminal offense under California laws.  Besides, many devices offer rolling tests.  These tests require motorists keep breathing into the device every few minutes, for the engine to continue running, to ensure that only motorists who use the device, are allowed to drive. 

Ignition interlock devices are becoming more and more reliable, and manufacturers have installed safeguards to prevent misuse.  For instance, new devices come with a recording mechanism that notes down the number of times a motorist tries to “fix” the device.