Required installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in California

Required installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in California If a person has been convicted of driving under the influence as a misdemeanor,1  or driving under the influence causing an injury accident,2  a misdemeanor or felony, after a first time violation a court may require them to install an interlock device. The period during which the device must be install shall not exceed three years.3  After installation in order to start the vehicle the person must blow into the device which is designed to determined alcohol on a person’s breath, if the device registers the existence of alcohol the person’s vehicle will not start.

If a person had a blood alcohol level of .15 % blood alcohol or higher when arrested a court is required to weigh that factor heavily in determining whether to require the installation of the device. The court also must weigh heavily the fact that a person when arrested had two or more prior moving violations or refused to take a chemical test when required to by law after arrest. 4

While nonresidents cannot be required to install a device while driving in another state, they must install one in any car they drive in California where ordered to do so for after a conviction for driving under the influence.5

The state has not yet certified an interlock device for motorcycles, until that occurs a person subject to this requirement cannot drive a motorcycle during the period the requirement is in effect.6

APPLICATION FOR RESTRICTED LICENSE BY REPEAT OFFENDER

If a person is convicted of driving under the influence,7  or driving under the influence and causing an injury accident,8  and has a prior conviction within 10 years for one of those offenses, or a prior conviction for a “wet reckless” within 10 years, and whose license has been suspended for 1 year,9  may get a restricted license by installing an interlock device in any vehicle they own or drive during the entire course of the suspension period.10

EXCEPTIONS TO INTERLOCK REQUIREMENTS

Exceptions to interlock requirements In some cases a court may decline requiring the installation of an interlock device where it finds in the interest of justice it is not necessary. Additionally, a person who drives an employer-owned vehicle is exempt when driving during the course of their employment provided the person has advised their employer of the driving restrictions, and has proof of that advisement while driving.11  However, if the person is either the owner, or part owner of the business this exemption does not apply.12  An exemption also exists for a person who due to a medical condition has insufficient lung capacity to properly operate the interlock device.13

UNLAWFUL ACTS THAT VIOLATE OR INTER WITH THE REQUIREMENT TO INSTALL THE INTERLOCK DEVICE
  • Knowingly, renting, leasing, or lending a motor vehicle that is not equipped with the device to a person required to have one installed.14
  • A person causing or permitting another to activate their device, when required to have a device installed in any vehicle they own or drive.15
  • Activating the device for another who is required to have one install it.16
  • Removing or tampering with the device to deactivate it.17
  • A person driving a vehicle without a device installed when required to drive only vehicles with the device installed.18
Punishment for Violations PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLATIONS.

To commit a violation of any of these offense is a misdemeanor. The sentence is up to 6 months in a county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.19





1 Sections 23152(a)(b) of the California Vehicle Code
2 Sections 23152(a)(b) of the California Vehicle Code
3 Section 23575(a)(1) of the California Vehicle Code
4 Section 23575(a) of the California Vehicle Code
5 Section 23575(j) of the California Vehicle Code
6 Section 23575(m) of the California Vehicle Code
7 Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code
8 Section 23153 of the California Vehicle Code
9 Section 13353.3 of the California Vehicle Code
10 Sections 13352, 13353.3 of the California Vehicle Code
11 Section 23576(a) of the California Vehicle Code
12 Section 23576(b) of the California Vehicle Code
13 Section 23575(k) of the California Vehicle Code
14 Sections 13352, 23575, or 23700, 23247(a) of the California Vehicle Code
15 Section 23247(b) of the California Vehicle Code
16 Section 23247(c) of the California Vehicle Code
17 Section 23247(d) of the California Vehicle Code
18 Section 23247(e) of the California Vehicle Code
19 Section 23247(f) of the California Vehicle Code