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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Mandatory Ignition Interlock Devices Get Another Extension

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Oct 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

Anyone who has been convicted of driving under the influence in Alameda County understands how tough the penalties can be. One of the probationary requirements after a DUI includes a mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installed in order to get back your driving privileges. Even a first-time DUI will require an IID in Alameda, but in Contra Costa county, an IID will only be required after a second or subsequent DUI. This is because Alameda is one of four testing grounds for a policy requiring IIDs for all DUIs.

Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare are the four counties that are part of the mandatory IID pilot program. The program began in 2010, and was set to expire on January 1, 2016. Now, Governor Jerry Brown has signed State Bill 61 into law, to extend the program for another 18 months, until July 1, 2017.

SB 61's pilot program, “requires, as a condition of being issued a restricted driver's license, being reissued a driver's license or having the privilege to operate a motor vehicle reinstated subsequent to a conviction for any violation of [a DUI], a person to install for a specified period of time an ignition interlock device on all vehicles he or she owns or operates.”

The bill was introduced by San Mateo State Senator Jerry Hill. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are supportive of such programs, and want mandatory IIDs to be required statewide. MADD president Colleen Sheehey-Church said she is “confident this pilot program will produce convincing evidence that ignition interlocks reduce drunk driving deaths and should be used by all offenders in California.”

The reason for the extension is to allow more time to study how effective the program is, and determine if the pilot program should be taken statewide. When first implemented, only 10 other states had a mandatory IID program for first time DUIs. Then the U.S. Congress has created an ignition interlock incentive grant program for states which pass mandatory IID requirements.

Currently, about half of all states require an IID for first-time DUI offenders, with Texas being the latest to adopt the program. In 14 other states, it is mandatory only if a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) was over 0.15%. In 7 states, including most of California, an IID is only required after a second or subsequent DUI. In 6 states there is no IID requirement.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, studies show that 50% to 75% of people convicted of a DUI will continue to drive on a suspended license, and IIDs reduce repeat offenses by about 70%, as compared to driver's license suspension alone. The CDC also provides recommended program keys for strong state IID programs.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Alameda or Contra Costa County, remember that an arrest is not the same as a conviction. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her professional legal career to defending people facing DUIs and other criminal charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, your East Bay DUI defense attorney understands how to get your charges reduced or dismissed,android an IID requirement.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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