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An Ignition Interlock Device is a concept / device that most people do not know about unless they have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles. The L.A. area is part of a test pilot program that requires first time DUI offenders to install one of these devices in their car in order to comply with their probation and the law in California. It is basically a device that registers whether you have any alcohol in your system before you are able to start your car. The device itself is fairly easy to use and is reasonably priced.
It must be installed by a certified company and it is monitored so it can not be tampered with by the owner of the car. If a person, who is on probation, is caught unlawfully tampering with their ignition interlock device or having someone else blow in it in order to avoid alcohol detection, they will be subject to a probation violation and six months to a year in jail, depending on how many DUI convictions they have on their record. The device is part of California’s all out push to stop people from drinking alcohol and driving. California has truly become one of the toughest states in the nation as it relates to dui deterrence and enforcement.
In defending DUI cases over the the past twenty five years, I have fought hard to keep my client’s out of jail and from suffering some of the more severe consequences that a DUI can carry. Believe it or not, embarrassment and shame are some of the biggest concerns people have related to their DUI case.
Fortunately, the ignition interlock devices, as they have been modernized, have become smaller and much less conspicuous than they once were. The companies that make them realize that the consumer does not want to be seen with one of these devices on their car and has therefore done everything they can to make the device as inconspicuous as possible.
The main way to avoid putting one of these devices on your car is to beat the DMV at the administrative hearing and win your criminal DUI case in court. If we can do this, then you do not have to put the device on your car and suffer some of the other harsh penalties that come along with a DUI. If this is not possible, then we do everything we can to minimize and downgrade the charges and the impact a dui can have on your driving and criminal record.
Who controls and monitors whether the ignition interlock device is placed on your car in Los Angeles? The criminal courts do not get involved in monitoring whether you actually put an ignition interlock device on your car and the ins and outs of whether you have violated your probation as it relates to the use of this device. The courts leave all of this up to the DMV. However, if you find yourself in court for violating the use of your ignition interlock device, the court will certainly be more than happy to punish you for it.
Typically the court will tell you, as part of your probation, that you are not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system and that you are to comply with placing an ignition interlock device on your car through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Hence, they put the DMV in charge of dealing with this cumbersome issue. It took the DMV quite sometime to even figure out how to implement the dictates of the legislature as it relates to the IID.
At first, the DMV was not enforcing the law because they had no systems or mechanism in place to monitor and run the ignition interlock device component of the legislature’s requirement. They have finally figured it out and are pretty efficient related to monitoring and enforcing the IID requirement. They have also been assisted by the many companies that are making money from the installation and monitoring of this aspect of a DUI.