Ignition interlock devices are machines installed into a driver’s vehicle that prevent the car from starting when a pre-set amount of alcohol “usually any at all” is present in the driver’s breath. The use of ignition interlock devices has become increasingly common in California DUI / DWI cases. An attorney experienced in defending drunk driving cases can determine whether the device is likely to be ordered in each individual case.
Although ignition interlock devices were once optional in multiple DUI / DWI cases, California law now requires that the equipment be installed in the vehicle of any driver convicted of two or more drunk driving offenses within 10 years.
Although the devices are optional in first-time DUI cases, courts can order their installation on first offenses as well. Some judges are known to order the devices installed on any drunk driving case involving a motorist with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .10 percent or more.
In some cases, ignition interlock devices can serve as a sentencing alternative to other, more restrictive punishments. The devices can be a potent negotiating tool in the hands of a skilled DUI / DWI defense attorney, who may secure a deal which substitutes an ignition interlock device for jail, vehicle impoundment, or other harsh consequences.
The California leader in providing ignition interlock devices is Smart Start of California, part of the Texas-based ignition interlock pioneer, Smart Start. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Smart Start at (800) 880-3394.