Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device slightly larger than a cell phone that is wired to your vehicle’s ignition. The device can be installed in a vehicle while you wait, and after installation it requires your breath sample before the engine will start. If the IID detects alcohol on your breath, the engine will not start. As you drive, you are periodically required to provide breath samples to ensure the continued absence of alcohol in your system.

IID Devices In California

In most cases, you can get a restricted driver’s license with an IID.

  • First DUI offense involving an injury, an IID would be required for six months;
  • First non-injury DUI offense, an offender may choose to have an IID for six months with full driving privileges, or a one-year restricted license that only allows driving to work, alongside a treatment program;
  • Second DUI offense, an IID would be required for a year;
  • Third DUI, an IID would be required for two years; and
  • Fourth and subsequent DUIs, IID’s would be required for three years.

The devices cost about $60 to $80 per month, with an installation fee of $70 to $150. Call DMV at (916) 657-6525 for eligibility for a restricted license or an IID provider.

IID Exception

Individuals who do not own or have access to a vehicle can request an exemption from the IID installation by completing and returning the Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device (DL 4055B) form within 30 days of receiving notice from DMV regarding the IID requirement. Individuals who qualify for an exemption are not required to provide proof of IID installation. However, the IID restriction will still be imposed for the required term. The driver acknowledges this restriction by submitting the exemption request that he/she can only operate a vehicle equipped with an IID.

Court-Ordered IID Restriction

When the court orders use of an IID, you must have one installed by an authorized installer and provide proof of the installation to the court. The court has special forms and procedures to monitor drivers ordered to have the IID device installed. After the court notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), DMV marks your record so law enforcement officers are aware of the IID requirement if you are stopped. DMV will also place a restriction on your driver license. If you fail to comply with a court-ordered IID restriction, the court will notify DMV and your driving privilege will be suspended until you comply with the court order.

DMV Ordered IID Restriction

DMV is required to impose an IID restriction on the driving privilege of a person convicted of driving when suspended or revoked for a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction Vehicle Code (VC) §§14601.2, 14601.4, or 14601.5.

DMV IID Form Filing Requirements

The driver must submit either the Department of Motor Vehicles Ordered Verification of Ignition Interlock (DL 924) form or the Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device (DL 4054B) form to the DMV within 30 days from the mail date of the Order of Installment of An Ignition Interlock Device.

Calibration and Monitoring

Once installed in your vehicle, the IID must be calibrated and inspected by a certified installer at intervals not to exceed 60 days. The inspections make sure the device is working properly and that no violations have been logged. Drivers who do not comply with IID requirements are reported to the court or to DMV and may have their driving privilege suspended or revoked.

IID Compliance

If a person with an optional DMV IID or court ordered IID restriction attempts to remove, tamper with, bypass, or fails three or more times to comply with any requirement for the maintenance or calibration of the IID, DMV will immediately suspend or revoke the person’s driving privilege for the remaining period of the original suspension or revocation, and until all reinstatement requirements are met.

Installation and Monitoring Fees

IID installation and monitoring fees vary among companies and may depend on your location. Call the listed companies for price quotes.

contact our office today for a free same day consultation

If you have question about the IID requirement, call our office today at (916) 939-3900 to speak directly to an attorney about your IID questions. We are open 24/7 365 days a year to answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a person with an IID restriction have someone else take the breath test for the driver to start the vehicle?
A: Not legally. Vehicle Code §23247 makes it unlawful for another person to blow into an IID or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person whose driving privilege is restricted.

Q: Will the IID unit lose all memory if the battery is disconnected?
A: No. The unit has a back-up lithium battery to protect the data log’s memory.

Q: What happens when the driver forgets his/her service appointment?
A: The device will prompt the driver. If the IID is not serviced, all IID’s will enter a lockout condition and the driver will not be able to operate the vehicle.

Q: What if the driver is taking a medicine or mouth wash with an alcohol base?
A: Alcohol is alcohol. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration, as measured in the breath, is over the preset level, the driver will not be allowed to start the vehicle. During the training session, drivers are particularly cautioned about common substances that contain alcohol and the use of mouthwash.

Q: What happens when a driver fails the breath test?
A: The IID will enter a short lockout period of a few minutes for the first failed breath alcohol test and a longer lockout for any subsequent failed breath alcohol test.

Q: What happens when the IID-equipped vehicle needs repair?
A: The driver needs to contact the IID service provider before having repairs conducted on his/her vehicle in case the repair shop has questions about the IID. Documentation must be provided if the power to the vehicle is interrupted as the unit will record the power disconnect and the reconnect.

Q: If the IID unit malfunctions, will it shut the vehicle off?
A: No. The IID unit has no means of interrupting vehicle operation once it is started.

Q: What happens if the vehicle stalls in traffic?
A: The IID unit permits the driver to restart the vehicle without having to conduct another breath sample, but a breath sample will be requested shortly after restarting.

Q: Will installation of the IID damage the vehicle?
A: No. The IID unit is only connected to the wiring under the dash and under the hood. At the end of the program, this wiring is restored to pre-IID installation conditions.

Q: Will the requirements to take a “running retest” cause the driver to take his/her eyes off the road creating a hazardous situation?
A: No. When the IID signals for a retest, the driver has a few minutes to provide the sample or to pull over to the side of the road in a safe area to provide the breath sample. There are no buttons to push; the driver must only breathe into the unit to complete a breath sample.