Ignition Interlock Device Test Program: VC 23700

Ignition Interlock Devices

Two California laws involving Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) change the penalties faced by motorists convicted of DUI. One is a test program in four counties (including Sacramento) and mandates the installation of IIDs, which require that people blow into an alcohol detection device that prevents the vehicle from starting if any alcohol is detected. That program is explained below. The other is statewide and allows people convicted of a 2nd or 3rd DUI the option of installing IIDs in exchange for shorter license suspensions. Click here for details on that program.

Vehicle Code 23700: Ignition Interlock Devices Mandatory for DUI Convictions -
Pilot Program in Sacramento County
Vehicle Code 23700 establishes pilot programs in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Tulare counties requiring all people convicted of DUI to install Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) on their vehicles. Note that DMV has issued a memo stating that the program applies to everyone convicted of DUI in these counties; the convicted person's county of residence is not the determining factor. Therefore, a Yolo County resident convicted of DUI in Sacramento County would have to install IIDs on his vehicles. This test program runs through 2018. See below for details on how the program will change when it goes into effect statewide in 2019.

Under this new law, people convicted of driving under the influence (California Vehicle Codes 23152 and 23153) in these four test counties must install IIDs on all vehicles they use. The required period of installation depends on whether the driver has prior DUIs:

  • First Offense - 5 months
  • Second Offense - 12 months
  • Third Offense - 24 months
  • Fourth Offense - 36 months
People convicted of DUI involving injury to another person (California Vehicle Code 23153) must install IIDs on all vehicles they use for these periods of time:
  • First Offense - 12 months
  • Second Offense - 24 months
  • Third Offense - 36 months
  • Fourth Offense - 48 months

Be aware, however, that as of January 1, 2012, judges have the discretion to suspend driving privileges for up to 10 years for people convicted of three or more DUIs within a 10 year period (AB 1601).

SB 1046, describe in detail below, allows people who have been arrested for DUI to install IIDs immediately and thus retain full driving privileges. The incentive is that the early installation time will be credited toward their IID time if convicted. This is a complicated scenario, however, and you are advised to talk to an experienced Sacramento DUI defense attorney to determine what actions you should take.

SB 1046: Ignition Interlock Device Program Statewide in 2019With the signing into law of Senate Bill 1046, the Ignition Interlock Device program will go into effect throughout the state beginning January 1, 2019. The new law will make these changes to the program: If a first time DUI does not involve an injury, the convicted person can choose between a six month IID installation with full driving privileges or a one year restricted license that allows driving to and from work and a treatment program. For a first time DUI with injury an IID will have to be installed for six months.

ExemptionsDMV does grant the following exemptions to the requirement to install an IID:
  • you don't own a vehicle
  • you don't have access to a vehicle at your residence
  • you don't have access to the vehicle you were driving when arrested for DUI

Keep in mind, however, that you won't qualify for the exemption if you own a vehicle that is inoperable or which DMV has designated - by your request - as PNO, or planned non operation.

Finally, the law does provide an exemption for people who drive vehicles owned by their employers. With court approval, an employer might not be required to install IIDs on company vehicles if the employee notifies the company that his/her driving privilege has been restricted.

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