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Ignition Interlock Device

ignition interlock device

If you are convicted of DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) in Los Angeles County, you are required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (or IID) into your car for a minimum period of 5 months.  An IID is similar to a breathalyzer that is installed into your vehicle.

The following is based on a brochure for the IID Pilot Program from the DMV [1]:-

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Pilot Program

In July  2010, an IID pilot program was introduced in Los Angeles County which requires all persons convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs) to install a certified IID in each vehicle that he/she owns or operates.  The pilot program was also introduced in three other counties (Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare).  The pilot program will be expanded to a state-wide program to be effective from January 1, 2019.

ignition interlock device

Woman in car blowing into Ignition Interlock Device

What is an IID?

An Ignition Interlock Device is similar to a breathalyzer that is wired to your vehicle’s ignition.  It requires you to provide a breath sample before the engine will start. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, the engine will not start. As you drive, the device will beep periodically to request additional breath samples to ensure continued absence of alcohol in your system.

Do I Need to Install an IID?

Yes, if you are convicted of a DUI in any one of the four pilot counties for a violation that occurred on or after July 1, 2010. Before a driver license can be reissued, you must serve a specified period of suspension or revocation and provide the DMV with the following:

Once you comply with all reinstatement requirements, DMV will restrict you to drive only vehicles equipped with a certified IID (in addition to any other applicable restrictions) until your IID restriction ends.

IID Restriction Terms

During your IID restriction period, you cannot drive vehicles that are not equipped with a functioning IID. The term of the IID restriction period is based on the initial DUI offense and the number of DUI related offenses you have within the prior 10 years, as specified below:

Number of
Offenses
Within 10 Years
IID Restriction Period
for Conviction of
VC 23152 [2]
IID Restriction Period for
Conviction of VC 23153 [3] or
California Penal Code 191.5(b)
15 months12 months
212 months24 months
324 months36 months
4 or more36 months48 months

A senate bill [4] was passed in September 2016 which will modify these restrictions (the 5 month restriction period will become 6 months), but the bill will not take effect until January 1, 2019.

How do I get an IID Installed?

Contact a California certified IID installer. To obtain a list of certified IID Installers you may:

IID Costs

According to Senator Jerry Hill 3. [6], the devices cost about $60 to $80 per month, with an installation fee of $70 to $150.

There is a program to help low-income offenders. IID installers in all counties are required to offer eligible pilot program participants reduced fees for IID installations and calibrations. The cost will be determined by your family’s income in comparison to current federal poverty guidelines.

What Happens After an IID is Installed?

Once installed in your vehicle, the IID must be calibrated and inspected by a certified installer at least every 60 days. The inspections ensure that the device is working properly with no evidence of tampering. If the installer notifies the DMV that you failed to comply with any of the IID requirements, DMV will “pause” the IID restriction. You will be ineligible to operate any vehicle until DMV receives a new DL 924 or a letter from the IID installer indicating that the IID remains installed and is functioning correctly, or that you are back in compliance with the IID maintenance and calibration requirements.

The full restriction term must be served before the IID restriction will be removed from your driving record. If you violate your restriction and drive a vehicle without a functioning IID during your IID restriction term, you will be cited by law enforcement and have your vehicle impounded.

What if I Don’t own a Vehicle?

To qualify for an exemption, you must submit a signed Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device, DL 4055B, form that certifies under penalty of perjury that you:

DMV will only approve signed exemption requests that are submitted within 30 days of the suspension or revocation notice mail date.

References and Links:

  1. DMV brochure for the IID Pilot Program [1]
  2. DMV list of FAQs [7] (including info for low income offenders) or view the same IID FAQ on this website [8].
  3. new senate Bill passed in 2016 and summarises costs [9].
  4. DMV Fact Sheet on Ignition Interlock Devices [10]
  5. Ignition Interlock Device List [5] from the DMV