DUI in California? An IID is Required to Drive
If you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) anywhere in California, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on any vehicle you own or operate, to be eligible for a restricted driver’s license, under a new law which goes into effect on January 1, 2019. Your driver’s license will be suspended and you will not be eligible for a restricted license until you provide proof of an IID to the court and/or the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This will probably be necessary before your court date for your case disposition.
The IID law has been successful in reducing repeat drunk driving arrests in Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare and Sacramento counties, counties with the largest populations in the state, which were part of a pilot program. Soon the law will be state-wide, even for first-time DUI offenders. This is the expanded 2019 IID law for California* that results from this pilot program*. Here’s what you need to know about getting a DUI in California.
How an IID Works
Draeger Ignition Interlock Devices measures the level of alcohol in your breath with a breathalyzer handset similar to that used by the police. If your Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) is below the legal limit of .08 for an adult over 21 years old, your vehicle will start within 10 seconds.
Drivers must always be aware of other vehicles, traffic lights, pedestrians, and road signs. Alcohol slows a person’s response time, a major reason why drunk driving is so dangerous.
The IID may be required for several months or several years, based on the circumstances of your current case and conviction and your prior history. First-time offenders may only need the device for a few months if they are to have their license restored. Repeat offenders will need to use the device longer.
An IID Doesn’t Cure Hangovers
The IID will measure your breath alcohol even the morning after a night of drinking. The truth about alcohol* is that it takes an hour for the body to break down 10 ml of alcohol, the amount found in an ounce of 80-proof distilled spirits. Beer may have 30 ml of alcohol or more, based on how much you consumed.
Sleeping after drinking will not eliminate the effect of alcohol on your body and you are unlikely to awaken refreshed*. You are not in a condition to operate a vehicle if the alcohol is still in your bloodstream or you have a severe headache and other hangover symptoms. Drinking more alcohol is definitely not the cure!
Many people think they can drive the morning after even if they feel sluggish and sick. No amount of coffee and pain medication such as ibuprofen will make a person with a hangover a safer driver. In fact, the medication may cause drowsiness.
Committing to Your Safety With an IID
The driver must blow into the handset that measures the BrAC. As long as there is no alcohol measurement, the ignition will start immediately.
Interestingly, a study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that many people avoided driving after drinking because they did not want to be required to install an IID after a DUI arrest. The IID, mandatory in several states for first-time offenders, was a good deterrent.
People with a DUI conviction should not be embarrassed about the IID in their vehicles. This indicates that they are aware of a potential drinking problem and that they do not want to be repeat offenders.