An ignition interlock device (IID) is installed on a vehicle when an individual
has been convicted of DUI. It works to prevent a driver from using their
vehicle after consuming alcohol. Like a breathalyzer, a driver will blow
into the device to determine their BAC. If the BAC reading is higher than
the pre-programmed level of the device, the vehicle will not start.
In order to prevent drivers from having a sober friend blow into the device
to start the car, the device will require random retests, or rolling tests,
after the initial start. If the driver exceeds the allowed BAC, the instance
will be recorded and sent to law enforcement.
New Bills Advocates Mandatory IID Installation
Under California law, first-time DUI offenders are not required to install
one of these devices. However, if a bill proposed by Senator Jerry Hill
is passed, that may soon change. In conjunction with anti-drunk driving
group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Hill has suggested that first-time
DUI offenders should be required to install an ignition interlock device
in an attempt to prevent repeat occurrences.
The bill would require:
- Five year pilot program involving six months' installation for the
- Escalating time periods for the device with subsequent arrests
- Driver's maintaining the use of their license following an arrest
Under current conditions, California drivers can choose between driving
on a restricted license or having an ignition interlock device installed
in their car. Around only 20% of drivers choose to install the device.
In part, this has to do with the high costs associated with placing the
device in the car and maintaining it on a monthly basis.
Some jurisdictions across the country where lawmakers have experimented
with mandatory IID installation for a first DUI offense have reported
a decline in DUI rates. These results have motivated more lawmakers to
propose similar legislation.