If you have been charged or convicted for a DUI after January 1, 2010, then there are new laws that will be implemented by the courts and the prosecution beginning January 1, 2010.
The standard plea for a first-time DUI offense in Los Angeles County includes an order from the court to complete a first offender alcohol program (AB 541), 36 months of summary probation and a fine plus penalty assessments that usually totals about $2,000.00. The standard first-offender plea agreement only applies to those DUI cases that do not involve bodily injury.
However, beginning January 1, 2010, the court will also impose an order that will include installation of an interlock ignition device (IID) on any vehicle that the defendant drives. The device will be imposed for a mandatory time of 5 months.
The IID is a device that is installed in your vehicle that requires you to blow into a machine that will measure your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). In other words, a breathalyzer. Vehicles that have an IID in place will require the driver to provide a sample of breath before the vehicle will start. The IID will have a predetermined BAC level and if the sample of breath exceeds the predetermined BAC level then the vehicle will not start.
The device is equipped with a log that stores the evidence, and includes all passes, warns and fails. Because the machines are monitored every certain period of time, the evidence collected will be reported to the relevant authorities. This is required not only for evidence collection, but also to ensure that the IID is calibrated correctly.
These devices also collect data about any attempts of circumvention and tampering. Again, any evidence found will be reported to the relevant authorities. Further, there will be penalties imposed against those individuals who assist in the tampering or circumvention of the IID device.
How does the IID affect you? Many people have jobs that require that they drive for a living. For example, drivers (bus, school, courier service, ambulance) may lose their job due to this new law. Most employers will not consent to their vehicles being fitted with IID devices so that you can start the car. In addition to the embarrassment associated with the act of blowing into the IID prior to ignition. It is likely that you will be terminated.
Finally, the cost of the IID device will also be a burden on you. It is your responsibility financially to have the system installed. The cost for the IID is usually about $2.50 per day, plus an installation fee that will range from $75.00 to $100.00.