What happens if you get caught driving a car without an interlock?

If you get caught driving without an ignition interlock device (IID), after the court has ordered you to install one, it will violate the terms of your DUI probation. You will most likely be arrested and a probation violation hearing will be set. At the hearing, the judge may tighten the terms of your probation. You may also be fined. The judge can also sentence you to jail.

That jail sentence can include time for:

  • violating a court order,
  • a driver's license violation, and
  • the original driving under the influence (DUI) conviction.
man breathing into an iid
You can be arrested if you are driving without an IID in your car

Will I be arrested for driving without an IID?

Yes, you can be arrested if the court has ordered you to install an IID and you are caught driving without one.

If you are driving without an IID and you get pulled over, you will most likely be arrested. The police officer conducting the traffic stop will ask for your license and vehicle registration. The officer will run your license and see that you have been ordered to maintain an IID. The officer may place you under arrest. The car you were driving may be impounded, even if it was not your own. A probation violation hearing will be scheduled.

If you simply never have the device installed, the court may schedule a hearing or issue a bench warrant. If the judge issues a bench warrant, police will search for you and place you under arrest. A hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, you will have to explain why the IID was not installed.

In some cases, the judge will simply schedule a hearing. You will be notified about the hearing and will be expected to appear voluntarily. If you miss the hearing, the judge will issue a bench warrant. You will be arrested and brought to the hearing.

What are the interlock violation consequences in California?

Driving without an IID is a violation of your DUI probation. In California, it is not a distinct crime. This means that judges have a great deal of discretion as far as imposing a penalty. The court may:

  • extend the amount of time you need to drive with an IID,
  • issue a fine, or require you to perform community service in lieu of a fine, and / or
  • revoke your probation and sentence you to jail for the underlying DUI conviction.

Moreoever, the Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend or revoke your driving privileges.

The potential jail time that you can serve will depend on the underlying DUI offense. If you faced up to a year in jail when you were convicted for DUI, the judge can sentence you to up to a year in jail.

If the judge adds time to your IID requirement, there is a hidden cost. You will have to make more payments to maintain your interlock device. An extra 6 months with an IID can end up costing well over a hundred dollars.

What are 3 common ways to get caught driving without an IID?

You can get caught driving a vehicle without an IID in 3 ways:

  1. you never install an IID in one of your vehicles,
  2. you drive someone else's car that does not have an IID installed, or
  3. you buy a new vehicle and do not install an IID.

If you do not install an IID in all of the cars registered in your name, the court is likely to find out. The companies that install the devices notify the DMV which cars have an IID in them. The DMV relays this information to the court. If one of your vehicles is not reported by these companies, a hearing will be scheduled. A bench warrant may also be issued. At the hearing, you will have to prove that you have installed IIDs in all of your vehicles.

If you get pulled over while driving a car registered to someone else, the arresting officer will see from your license that you can only drive vehicles with an IID.

If you buy a new car, it will be registered in your name. The DMV will see that you need to install an IID in it. If an IID-installing company does not promptly notify the DMV of installation, the court will demand an explanation.

If you've been ordered to install an IID but don't own or have a vehicle, it is important to submit a declaration of non-ownership to the DMV and to the court.

Call us for help...

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Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you've been charged with a crime or probation violation, we invite you to contact our DUI defense lawyers at Shouse Law Group for help.

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The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

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