Vehicle Code 23247(e) VC makes it a crime for a person, driving on a restricted license due to a DUI conviction, to operate any vehicle that is not equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device (IID). The section requires that drivers must install an IID in their vehicle following a DUI if they wish to obtain a restricted driver’s license.
The language of the code section reads:
It is unlawful for any person whose driving privilege is restricted pursuant to Section 13352, 13352.1, 13353.6, 13353.75, 23575, 23575.3, or 23700 to operate any vehicle not equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device.
- driving on a restricted license after a first-time DUI and not having a certified ignition interlock device installed in the car.
- operating a motor vehicle, after a Vehicle Code 23152b VC conviction, and doing so on a restricted license with an IID that has been tampered with.
- having no IID in a car when on a restricted license because of a driving under the influence of drugs charge.
A defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a charge under this California law. Some defenses include:
- the defendant was falsely accused,
- the accused did not have any record of a DUI conviction, and/or
- a necessity required the defendant to operate a car without an IID.
- custody in the county jail for up to six months, and/or
- a maximum fine of $5,000.
In addition, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will:
- terminate the driver’s restricted license, and
- suspend the person’s driving privileges.
Our California DUI attorneys will explain the following in this article:
- 1. What does it mean to violate VC 23247(e)?
- 2. Can a legal defense help?
- 3. What are the penalties?
- 4. Are there immigration consequences?
- 5. Can it be expunged from my record?
- 6. Does a conviction under this law affect gun rights?
- 7. Are there related offenses?
1. What does it mean to violate VC 23247(e)?
Following a DUI conviction, Vehicle Code 23247(e) makes it a crime for the convicted party to:
- operate a motor vehicle on a restricted driver’s license, and
- do so without having an IID equipped within the car.1
Parties on a driving restriction must have the IID installed by a California-certified IID installer.2 A person can find a certified installer by contacting a local mechanic or searching online.
An interlock device can be installed on most operable motor vehicles.
2. Can a legal defense help?
Defense attorneys use certain legal strategies to contest allegations under this statute. These include showing that:
- the defendant was falsely accused.
- the accused did not have a prior DUI.
- the accused acted under necessity.
2.1. Falsely accused
Sometimes people get falsely accused of a crime. Examples are when:
- the police make a mistake,
- a witness makes a misleading statement, and
- mistaken identity.
A defendant, therefore, can always challenge a charge by saying he/she was unjustly blamed.
2.2. No prior DUI
These laws only come into play if the defendant had a prior DUI conviction. This means a person can legally drive on a restricted license, without an IID, if no prior DUI. This means an accused can always show that he/she does not have any record of a DUI conviction.
Under a necessity defense, a defendant essentially tries to avoid guilt by showing that he had a sufficiently good reason to commit the crime. In the context of driving without an IID in the car, an accused could attempt to show that he committed the crime since he had no other choice (e.g., because of an emergency).3
3. What are the penalties?
A violation of this statute is charged as a misdemeanor.
The crime is punishable by:
- custody in county jail for up to six months, and/or
- a maximum fine of $5,000.4
A judge may award misdemeanor (or summary) probation in lieu of jail time.
Further, upon a violation of this law, the DMV will:
- terminate the driver’s restricted license, and
- suspend the driver’s driving privileges for the remainder of the time under the original court order that imposed a suspension.5
4. Are there immigration consequences?
There are no harmful immigration consequences for violating this law.
Some California crimes result in a non-citizen defendant being either:
- deported, or
- marked as inadmissible.
A VC 23247(e) conviction, though, will not have these consequences.
5. Can it be expunged from my record?
A driver can get an expungement, per Penal Code 1203.4 PC, if he/she breaks this law. This is true provided that he/she successfully completes:
- probation, or
- any jail term (whichever was imposed).
6. Does a second conviction affect gun rights?
Some California crimes result in the offender losing his/her gun rights.
Driving without an IID, though, will not impact a Californian’s right to:
- purchase, or
- possess a gun.
7. Are there related offenses?
There are three crimes related to driving on a restricted license without an IID. These are:
- driving on a suspended license – VC 14601.1a,
- driving with no IIC – VC 23575, and
- driving without a license – VC 12500.
7.1. Driving on a suspended license – VC 14601.1a
Vehicle Code 14601.1(a) VC is the California statute that makes it illegal for a person knowingly to drive in California with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
A driver violates this law regardless of the reason for the suspension (i.e., no prior DUI is required for a conviction).
7.2. Driving with no IIC – VC 23575
Vehicle Code 23575 VC authorizes a judge to make a person convicted of a first-time DUI install an IID prior to being able to drive.
It is a crime, then, if a party does not perform this installation.
Note that Vehicle Code 23247(e) applies to restricted licenses for any DUI conviction. It is not limited to first-time DUIs.
7.3. Driving without a license – VC 12500
Under Vehicle Code 12500a VC, it is a crime for a person to drive without a valid driver’s license.
Note that this statute pertains to driver’s licenses. VC 23247(e) applies to restricted driver’s licenses.
For additional help…
For additional guidance or to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. Our law office represents clients throughout California, including San Francisco and Ventura. For more discussion, see our page on the consequences of failing the ignition interlock test.
- California Vehicle Code 23247e VC.
- See California DMV website, Ignition Interlock Device.
- See, e.g., Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 3403.
- California Vehicle Code 23247f VC.
- California Vehicle Code 23247g VC.