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Does California have ignition interlock laws?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2020 | DUI Charges

The simple answer to this question is “yes,” considering all 50 states have ignition interlock laws. However, if you are facing a DUI charge in California. It is important to understand California’s specific laws on this subject.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently amended the ignition interlock requirements in California as of 2019. According to Occupational Health and Safety Online, California mandates that repeat DUI offenders and first-time DUI offenders who caused injury during their violation install an ignition interlock device for a period of 12 to 48 months.

 What is an ignition interlock device? 

An ignition interlock device is a small breathalyzer that a third-party service installs in your car. Any time that you wish to start your vehicle, you will need to breathe into the device. If the device finds that there is any alcohol on your breath, your car will not start.

Once you have started your car, you will need to breathe periodically in to the device at indicated intervals. This is to prove that you have not consumed alcohol since starting the vehicle. Tampering with the device is illegal, and it is also illegal for an individual that requires an ignition interlock device to operate any vehicle that does not have a device installed.

What if I did not cause an injury? 

As stated, the law requires that those first-time offenders who have caused an injury install an ignition interlock device. However, the law also reserves the right to have other first-time DUI offenders install ignition interlock devices at the discretion of the court. So even if you did not cause injury and are a first time DUI offender, the court may require you to install a device.