How Can I Get Out of an Ignition Interlock Requirement?

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can result in heavy fines, license suspension, and even jail time in some cases. Many states now require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for drivers convicted of a DUI.

This technology is designed to prevent intoxicated individuals from operating a vehicle by requiring a clean breath sample before allowing the ignition to start.

While IIDs are proven tools for reducing drunk driving recidivism, their mandate can feel punitive and inconvenient if you’re committed to responsible driving.

What Exactly Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An IID is a handheld breathalyzer connected to a vehicle’s ignition system. Before starting the engine, you must blow into the device to provide a breath sample.

If your BAC is above the programmed limit, usually around 0.02%, the vehicle will not start. Periodic rolling retests are also required while driving. Any failures are reported to the DMV.

These devices provide a powerful deterrent to drinking and driving while allowing offenders to restore their driving privileges. All 50 states authorize judges to order IID installation for DUI convictions. The minimum IID requirement in California is 6 months.

Why Was I Ordered to Install an IID?

If you’ve been convicted of a California DUI, whether misdemeanor or felony, the court will likely require an IID as a condition of probation. The judge determines the length of time based on factors like your BAC, number of prior offenses, and if any injuries occurred.

IID installation is mandatory under California law for second and third DUI convictions within 10 years. A first offense results in 6 months, a second offense 12 months, and a third offense 24 months. The DMV can also impose an IID order administratively regardless of court requirements.

Are There Any Exceptions to California’s IID Mandate?

While California’s IID laws are strict, some exceptions exist in limited circumstances:

Medical Exemptions

Those with certain medical conditions like lung disease may qualify for an exemption with proper documentation from a pulmonologist. However, the review process is rigorous.

Employment Exemptions

If required by an employer, it may be possible to obtain an IID restriction waiver for work vehicles only. You’ll need documented proof from your employer that an IID would impede job duties. Exemptions are only granted on a case-by-case basis.

How to Remove an IID Before Your Order Expires

Completing your IID order without any violations puts you in the best position for early removal.

Additional steps can also improve your chances:

  • Finish all probation terms – California law allows IID removal upon completing probation, provided your probation officer agrees.
  • Request an early withdrawal hearing – With help filing petitions, attending your hearing, and arguing for removal, judges occasionally grant requests before the minimum time period has elapsed if you show good cause.

Having an ignition interlock device requires adapting your lifestyle. But view it as an opportunity to build credibility that you take drunk driving seriously.

Commit to responsible habits and follow all the rules. With guidance from an experienced DUI lawyer, California drivers can complete IID orders as quickly and smoothly as possible.

If you’re facing DUI charges in California, contact The Nieves Law Firm today. Their team has handled hundreds of these cases and will get you on a path to restoring your privileges as soon as possible.

Visit to schedule your confidential consultation.

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