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Do I Need to Get a Breathalyzer in my Car if I get a DUI?

Posted by Robert Berglund | Nov 29, 2023

The answer to this question depends on a couple of different factors.  If you are a repeat offender, meaning that you have a prior DUI or wet reckless conviction within the last 10 years, you will be required to install the ignition interlock device, also referred to as the "IID," in your vehicle before your California driver's license will be reissued.  If it is your first offense and you are convicted of a DUI with injury (Vehicle Code Section 23153) you will also be required to put the IID in your vehicle.  In these instances the IID must remain installed for a period of one year.  Your driver's license is considered "restricted" during this time, meaning that you must have the IID in your car in order for your driver's license to remain valid.

If it is your first DUI offense, and does not involve injury, you are not required to install the IID.  However, you may do so if you would like unlimited driving privileges during the period of restriction.  Alternatively, you may either refrain from driving for a six or ten month period, also referred to as the "hard suspension" period (the suspension length depends on your B.A.C. level and the length of the alcohol program you were ordered to complete), or you may apply for the work/alcohol program restricted license.  This allows you to have your driver's license reissued but you may only driving to/from work or during work, as well as to/from the alcohol program or program activities (e.g., AA meetings).  One drawback to this option is that you may still face a mandatory 30 day hard suspension period before your license can be reissued.  If you install the IID, you avoid the 30 day suspension.  

These are the basic current California DUI laws related to IID requirements.  There are exceptions and other factors that can effect your particular situation.  If you have been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles it is best to speak with a good DUI defense lawyer to discuss your situation.  Berglund Law Office, P.C. represents people arrested for DUI.  Contact our office today via our submission FORM or call us at (877) 667-1205 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

About the Author

Robert Berglund

Attorney Robert D. Berglund is dedicated to handling any and all traffic violations, including traffic infraction tickets, as well as misdemeanor criminal traffic violations, such as driving under the influence (DUI), driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving.


Our office specializes in representing individuals facing traffic violations. We represent our clients in both court and at DMV hearings. Your case will be handled with the personalized attention and expertise that it deserves.

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