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What is an IID?

​An IID is an ignition interlock device. The IID is installed on a vehicle and acts like a breathalyzer to test the driver's breath before the vehicle can be started. Most drivers convicted of drunk driving in California will have to get an IID in order to keep driving. The IID requirement depends on the specific violation and prior DUI history.

If you have any questions about an IID or other penalties related to DUI charges in the East Bay, contact the experienced California DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

How does an IID work?

The device is installed on the steering column of the vehicle. When a driver's license is suspended after a DUI or wet reckless, the driver can take his or her vehicle into an installation location to get the device put in the car and immediately be able to drive with an Ignition Interlock Device Restricted License.

Before starting the car, the IID requires an alcohol-free breath sample. If the device registers alcohol, it will record the failed test and the vehicle cannot be started and the driver will have to wait to resubmit a breath sample.

While the vehicle is operating, the device will require additional breath samples, called “rolling samples.” The driver has about 6 minutes to provide a rolling sample, which allows a driver to pull over, if necessary. Any failed tests will be recorded and reported when the driver brings the device in for calibration. Additionally, any attempts at tampering with the device will also be recorded and reported.

How can I bypass an IID to drive?

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how to bypass an IID. Before trying to trick the device and risk a violation (or worse), it is better to not try and operate the vehicle if you cannot pass the breath test. Any attempt to tamper with the IID will be reported and can result in an extended restricted license and a fine.

In California, it is a crime to request or solicit another person to blow into an IID or to blow into an IID for another person to start a vehicle for a restricted driver. California Vehicle Code 23247.

Who needs an IID after a DUI?

Since January 1, 2019, drivers convicted of a DUI in California may be required to have an IID installed in order to drive. Drivers with a suspended license after a DUI can install an IID and be able to drive with an IID restricted license. The court has the discretion to require an IID after a non-injury first DUI. However, the court can require an IID for multiple DUIs or a DUI causing injury.

There are a couple of situations where a driver can avoid an IID. Individuals may not need an IID if they:

  • Do not own a car or have access to a vehicle, or
  • Opt for a restricted license after waiting the 30-day suspension period.

A driver cannot avoid an IID just by claiming they will not drive. The driver will have to submit an  Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device form (DL 4055B), within 30 days of receiving a notice form DMV, certifying that the individual:

  • Does not own a vehicle.
  • No longer has access to a vehicle at their place of residence.
  • No longer has access to the vehicle used when the DUI offense occurred.

A non-IID restricted license does not allow for open driving privileges. A restricted license may limit where the driver can go, including for limited driving to and from:

  • Work,
  • Taking kids to school, or
  • Medical appointments

How long do I have to have an IID?

The IID time limit depends on the offense. If the driver's license was suspended by the DMV but the individual was not convicted, the IID period is generally 4 months. The IID requirement for most first-time DUIs is generally 6 months.

The IID may be required for one year after a 2nd DUI, 2 years after a 3rd DUI, and 3 years after of 4th or subsequent DUI. A DUI causing injury is generally 1 year for a 1st offense, and longer for repeated offenses.

Can I just drive a rental car instead of getting an IID?  Can I drive my employer owned work vehicle? 

Drivers cannot generally just get a rental car to avoid driving with an IID. A rental car company generally will not rent a vehicle to a driver with an IID restricted license.  The terms of an IID restricted license require that you do not operate a motor vehicle without an IID.  

There are exceptions for driving employer-owned vehicles. You may be eligible to drive an employer-owned vehicle without an interlock device. 

DUI Defense by East Bay Criminal Defense Lawyer

East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience and understands how frustrating it can be to lose your license after a DUI. Contact your East Bay DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest so you can fight the automatic license suspension by the DUI and keep your license. If you are facing criminal charges for a DUI in Contra Costa County and Alameda County, contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

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