There has been a pilot program (AB 91) in effect since 2010 in Sacramento, Alameda, Los Angeles, and Tulare counties. Even for a first offense Driving Under the Influence conviction, installation of an ignition interlock device is required in the pilot counties and the program was designed to see if a requirement for mandatory installation of the IID would deter someone from driving under the influence or prevent repeat DUI offenders.
Currently in the pilot counties, the IID requirements are as follows:
1st DUI – 5 months, 2nd DUI – 1 year, 3rd DUI – 2 years, 4th or more – 3 years
Currently, there is a Senate Bill, SB 61 pushing to make the IID mandatory in all California counties. As currently proposed, the IID requirements for DUI convictions would be:
1st DUI – 6 months, 2nd DUI – 1 year, 3rd DUI – 2 years, 4th or more – 3 years
A benefit may be that an individual who has been arrest and/or convicted of a DUI can re-obtain the privilege to drive by installing an IID and not even have a “hard suspension” at all. Currently, if DMV administratively finds that an individual arrested for a DUI was driving, at the time of driving the individual had a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, and that the arrest was lawful, an administrative suspension occurs and there is a period of time that an individual cannot drive at all even on a first offense. SB 61 could eliminate the no drive period of time.
On the other side, some individuals may not be able to afford an IID and it is unclear how a sliding scale can be achieved.
SB 61 will be an interesting bill for a DUI lawyer to keep an eye on. There are cost issues that need to be addressed, especially for those who are in financial need. On the flip side of things, we often hear from clients “how am I supposed to work and get to the DUI class if I can’t drive?” Allowing an individual to install an IID to get back on the road lawfully addresses a number of issues – 1. Allowing an individual to maintain employment, 2. Participating in DUI classes, 3. Hopefully prevent repeat offenses, and 4. Public safety.