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How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are being increasingly used to prevent drivers who have been convicted of a DUI from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. What is an IID exactly? It’s a small breath testing device, not much bigger than your cellphone, that is wired to your vehicle’s ignition.

IIDs are installed in cars and connected to a vehicle’s ignition system. When a person is ready to drive, they will have to exhale into the device. If they fail to provide a breath sample, or if the IID detects a certain level of alcohol (or more) in the driver’s breath, the vehicle will not start.

IIDs generally require that a driver take tests at various times throughout their trip in order to prevent a sober person from blowing into the device to start the car or for a person to consume alcohol after their car has been started. In this case, the driver has to provide a breath sample under the preset amount of time or else an alarm will go off and continue until the ignition is shut off.

The device will also record BAC and store a record. This report can be used by law enforcement and the court if a person is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol when an IID has been installed. If a driver who is required by the court to install an IID is caught driving without one, they can face additional fines and penalties.

Monthly maintenance keeps the IID accurate and also provides information about BAC levels, driving, and tampering to law enforcement. Motorists who are required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle will be required to pay for monthly calibration of their device, as well as installation and removal.

About Court-Ordered IIDs

IIDs are an effective tool for preventing drunk driving and multiple DUI offenses, and courts in Southern California are using them more and more. If the court orders you to install an IID, you must have an authorized installer do it for you, and you must show the court that it was installed by an authorized dealer.

Once the court notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the IID requirement, the DMV will make a note on your driving record, which the police will see on your records if you are stopped.

If you fail to install a court-ordered IID, your license will be suspended and you will have to refrain from driving until you sort it out. Because IIDs can be a challenging and costly penalty in DUI cases, our legal team works hard to protect our clients from conviction and consequences.

To learn more about IIDs and how our Orange County DUI lawyers can help with your case, contact us today.