If you are convicted of any DUI-related offense in California a judge can order you to install an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) onto your vehicle. (2019 UPDATE: IIDs are now mandatory in most DUI cases; even first-time DUI defendants need an IID for at least 6 months in order to be able to continue driving without limitation. California Senate Bill 1046 (2018)) IID's are essentially mini-breathalyzer instruments installed onto your vehicle that prevent your vehicle from operating unless they are given an alcohol-free¬ breath sample.
As of July 2010, every individual convicted of a DUI offense in Los Angeles County is required to install an IID device to their vehicle for a minimum of five months to a maximum of three years.
However, there are certain exceptions to the blanket California IID requirement for a DUI conviction in Los Angeles County.
The California State Legislature considers the following valid grounds for granting an exception to the IID requirement:
The defendant is an out of state resident and installing an IID would cause undue hardship on the defendant or his or her family;
At the time of sentencing, the defendant lives 50 miles or more from the nearest interlock service facility and installing an IID would create an undue hardship on the defendant or his or her family;
The defendant is the sole proprietor of a business that requires two or more vehicles be registered in defendant's name, in which case an IID need only be installed on one of the vehicles;
Defendant provides proof that the vehicle registered in defendant's name is inoperable and the defendant is unable to transfer title of the vehicle;
The defendant is required to operate an employer-owned vehicle in the course and scope of his or her employment and thus may operate the vehicle without the installation of an IID. (For example: A UPS delivery truck driver would not be required to install an IID device on the UPS owned delivery truck); and/or
The Court determines that the hardship imposed by the installation of the device will far outweigh the likelihood that the defendant will drink and drive again while on court-ordered probation.
While these exceptions do exist, judges are extremely hesitant in relieving those convicted of DUI related offense from the IID requirement. Thus, it is important to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to help you determine whether you qualify under one of the specified exceptions. (Refer to our article about California DUI 1st Penalties.)