About California's New IID Law

About California's New IID Law

As a California driver, you’re probably familiar with Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs), though you may have never seen one in person before. IIDs are small breathalyzer devices that are hooked up to a vehicle’s ignition. The cellphone-sized devices prevent vehicles from starting when drivers provide breath samples containing alcohol.

If the driver can provide an alcohol-free breath sample, the vehicle will start, but the driver will have to continue providing alcohol-free breath samples throughout their trip. IIDs are used to ensure that people who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) do not drink and drive while on DUI probation.

California’s IID Laws

Each state handles IIDs differently. Some states order them to be installed in all DUI convictions, while other states only order them to be installed when a driver had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC); for example, a BAC of 0.15% or above, or when a driver was convicted of their secondor third DUI offense.

Here in California, criminal court judges had discretion when it came to ordering IIDs in DUI cases. Prior to January 2019, judges generally had the option to order the installation of an IID for up to three years in a DUI case, unless the DUI case was in one of the following pilot counties: Sacramento, Alameda, Los Angeles, and Tulare.

In the above pilot counties, judges had no choice but to order IIDs to be installed in all DUI cases that led to a conviction, even first DUI cases.

January 2019 IID Law Changes

As of January 1, 2019, changes to California’s DUI laws went into effect under Senate Bill 1046. Here’s what you need to know about those changes:

  • The IID pilot program affecting LA, Alameda, Tulare, and Sacramento counties was extended to January 1, 2026.
  • All California residents are NOW required to install an IID, even if they are convicted of their first ever DUI offense.
  • If a driver is convicted of DUI, the driver has the right to apply for a restricted license without completing their license suspension or revocation, providing he or she installs an IID. This is in effect until Jan. 1, 2026.

Will YOU have to install an IID if you are convicted of DUI in Oakland or anywhere else in the East Bay? Under the 2019 legislative changes, the answer is, “Yes, you will have to install an IID if you’re found guilty of DUI.”

Related: DUI Expungements in Oakland

To learn more about Senate Bill 1046 and how it could apply to your DUI case, contact the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today.

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