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What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Arrests for driving under the influence are fairly common in Los Angeles, that is not to say that Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm condones driving under the influence, but it is not a rare occurrence.  It is quite likely that you, the person reading this article right now, know someone who has been accused of driving under the influence. You may also know someone who has been convicted of a DUI, and are familiar with the brutal consequences that can accompany a conviction of a DUI, even your first one. 

If you are convicted, a DUI can have a profound impact on your life for up to ten (10) years. These consequences include the social stigma associated with a DUI conviction, and the potential impact it can have on: (1) your employment prospects, (2) your ability to get around town, (3) your free time, and last but not least; (4) your finances.

First, a conviction for a crime will appear on your criminal history; which can be viewed by anyone who conducts a background check. This could become an issue if you are applying for a security clearance, applying for a rental, and applying for employment. Background checks are conducted in these interactions as a matter of course; it will happen. Many employers do not want to hire people with criminal backgrounds, despite the fact that the conviction would be unlikely to impact your job performance. With a DUI conviction however, it may completely bar you from being employed in certain industries; namely ones that require you to have a valid driver’s license.

There are two points in time, during the pendency of the case against you, that your driver’s license could be suspended; the DMV hearing, and the criminal case against you. These will be discussed below, but suffice it to say, getting around Los Angeles without a vehicle can be a significant burden. In addition to the inconvenience of living in a city with less-than-perfect public transit and not having a car, if you are convicted the Court will also require you to attend alcohol treatment programs on a regular basis; this will dramatically reduce the amount of free time you have. This I especially true if you are already working to pay off the fines associated with a DUI conviction.

The costs of a DUI conviction can be staggering. This is a result of California legislators attempting to deter individuals from driving under the influence by attacking their finances. It is unfortunate that the punishment for Driving Under the Influence has significant teeth. The penalties will only to get worse as the legislature feels the pressure from their constitutents to make the penalties for driving under the influence so severe, that nobody does it anymore. Of course that wont accomplish their goal, but that will not stop them from trying.

The attorneys at Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm will advocate vigorously on your behalf in an effort to help you avoid the plethora of consequences detailed above that go hand-in-hand with a DUI conviction. Since the Prosecution must prove every element of the crime of driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt, it is important to be aware of what constitutes driving under the influence.

I Have Been Convicted of my First DUI, What are the Penalties I Might Face?

While California Courts treat DUIs very seriously, a person convicted of a DUI for the first time may face lesser penalties if they have an attorney advocating for them. Some of the penalties a first time offender may face include:

  • A fine ranging between $390 and $2,000; this includes the cost of the penalty, which is assessed after conviction;
  • You may be forced to enroll in, and complete, a treatment program designed to help with alcohol dependency;
  • Incarceration for a period of 2 days; and
  • Suspension of your California driving privileges for at least 30 days, depending on the facts surrounding your DUI. Once the suspension of your license has run its course, you will then face additional driving restrictions. 

It is important to realize that the possible penalties listed above are associated with what is known as a “simple” DUI; that is a DUI without aggravating factors. For a detailed discussion of factors that can result in enhanced penalties, please refer to the article on our page title “aggravated DUI.”

The Courts all over Southern California are ordering individuals convicted of driving under the influence to install ignition interlock devices (IID) at a rapidly increasing rate. This is especially the case in the event that you’re reported BAC exceeds 0.15%, if you are convicted of a second DUI, or if your DUI involved an accident, which resulted in injury to a person or harm to property. The IID is a smaller version of the standard breathalyzer that police officers utilize to test your BAC at the time they stopped you on suspicion of driving under the influence, and attaches to you ignition device. This device will intermittently conduct an analysis of your breath to determine your blood alcohol level; and will not allow the vehicle to start if you blow above a certain BAC. The purpose of the device is to prevent people the Court believe are at risk of driving under the influence from being able to start their vehicle. 

How does the IID work?

In the event a judge has ordered that you install an IID as part of the punishment for your conviction, you must take it to a licensed professional to install the device properly in every vehicle you own, or drive regularly. It should be noted that vehicles owned by your employer are not subject to this requirement. When you get in your vehicle and try to start it, the IID will require you to blow into it; if there is any alcohol detected, the vehicle will not start. In addition to the required sample when you start your car, the IID will also require intermittent breath samples over at random intervals while you are driving. It is important to note that the IID will provide you sufficient time to pull to the side of the road, and safely provide a breath sample. There is some criticism in the community about whether or not that is necessarily safe. If the IID detects any alcohol on your breath while you are driving, the device will report that information to the proper authorities.

If you have an IID, it is unwise to attempt to have someone else besides you blow into it; on installation the licensed professional requires you to provide a particular breathing pattern, that acts in a similar fashion to the passcode on your phone; if the person providing the sample does not match that code the IID will alert the proper authorities. Further, the IID is attached by a short cord to prevent it from reaching to the passenger’s seat, or to the back seat. While it may be possible to mimic the breathing pattern to fool the device that it is you breathing when someone else is breathing, it is not recommended as if you are caught it would constitute non-compliance with court imposed terms and conditions, and could result in you serving time in jail. 

What are the reasons a Court would order me to install an IID?

A judge has the authority to order to you to install an IID for any, and all offenses that involve an allegation of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. This includes the following:

  • A simple charge of driving under the influence, without aggravating factors pursuant to California Vehicle Code §23152(a)

Driving a car with a BAC of 0.08% or higher in violation of California Vehicle Code §23152(b)

Driving under the influence, which results in a physical injury to a person in violation of California Vehicle Code §23153

Driving a car while you are not legally allowed t as a result of your license being revoked or suspended in connection to a prior DUI conviction in violation of California Vehicle Code §14601

The Court has the authority to require you to have an IID installed for a maximum of three years if the Judge deems it necessary. Notwithstanding the judge’s discretion to order the installation of an IID, it is generally not order for first time DUI offenders unless the arrest involved a BAC of over 0.15%.

How much does it cost to install an IID?

The cost of installing and maintaining an IID will vary on which product you are ordered to install, and who performs the installation. According to an average based on available information, it appears that the cost of an IID in California amounts to approximately $2.50 per day in addition to the cost of installing the device which can range anywhere from $75 - $150. The costs associated with reporting, calibration, and maintenance of your IID vary too widely to provide an average cost.

The attorneys at Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm have extensive experience representing clients accused of a DUI in Los Angeles, and will assist you in defending your case, utilizing various defenses designed to reduce the reported BAC below 0.15% in an effort to avoid a Court order requiring the installation of an IID if it is your first offense. If it is not possible to avoid an order installation of an IID, your attorney will advocate for the shortest time period available where you must maintain your IID

CONCLUSION

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the consequences of a DUI are far reaching, and significant. Further, DUI convictions remain incredibly important for the following ten (10) years. This is because, if you are convicted of a DUI within the next ten years, you will be charged with a second offense DUI; the penalties associated with a second offense are significantly more severe. If you are convicted of a DUI four (4) times within a ten (10) year period, you will be charged with a felony DUI, this carries extreme penalties.

Since the cost of a DUI can be so staggering both financially and otherwise, it is important to have the very best attorney available, that is where Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm comes into the picture. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients against DUI charges, and have proven results in the courtroom. For a detailed analysis of our results, please take the time to review the page on our website titled “recent results.”

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