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Ignition Interlock Device

What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device that measures the amount of alcohol in a person's breath.  It is installed in your vehicle.  A driver must breathe into the device before driving, and if the IID registers an amount of alcohol that is over the legal amount, the car will not start.   Any violations are typically reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and, if you are on probation for a DUI conviction, to the Court.  

If you're facing a DUI charge, you need a defense attorney who understands the DUI laws in Los Angeles.  CONTACT us online or by calling (877) 667-1205 to schedule a free consultation.

When Are Ignition Interlock Devices Required in California?

For DUI arrests occurring on or after January 1, 2019, IID installation will be ordered in the following circumstances:

  • After a first drunk driving conviction if an injury was involved
  • After a second or subsequent DUI conviction
  • After being convicted of driving on a suspended license

The Problems Associated with IIDs in California

While IIDs serve a useful purpose and help prevent countless incidences of drunk driving each year, they are not without their flaws.  Common complaints regarding these devices are:

  • False Positives: False positives are a reality with IIDs, with many household foods and items having been found to cause the machine to detect alcohol that is not present.  Examples include cough syrup, hand sanitizer, and alcohol-flavored foods.
  • User Error:  Some IIDs require that a driver hum while they blow into the device. This can be difficult for some people, causing the device to record a violation that does not exist. 
  • Multiple Drivers: Many people share vehicles with their spouse and other family members, and there is no way to shut down an IID when the vehicle is being used by someone other than the person it is intended to monitor.

While all these problems can cause frustration and affect your ability to drive, IIDs can also be dangerous. 

Danger of IIDs in Los Angeles

What many people fail to realize is that IIDs not only test blood alcohol levels before allowing the car to start but also while the vehicle is in motion. This is known as “rolling testing” and is one of the most common reasons IIDs are criticized.

Drivers are randomly prompted to provide a breath sample while driving.  The purpose is to confirm that an unlawful amount of alcohol is not present in their system while operating the vehicle. The logic behind this is understandable, but it leads to distracted driving and subsequent accidents.  Visit our DUI BLOG to read more about the safety concerns involving Ignition Interlock Devices.

Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles Today

If you have been charged with driving while impaired, it is in your best interest to seek counsel from an attorney experienced with DUI cases in Los Angeles.  A skilled attorney will be more likely to have your charges reduced and your driving privileges preserved.  CONTACT us online or by calling Berglund Law Office, P.C. today at (877) 667-1205 for a free consultation about your case.


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.

Free Consultation

There is no charge for the phone consultation. Our office specializes in representing individuals facing traffic violations. Attorney Robert D. Berglund will personally speak with you about your case and provide you with an honest analysis. Contact us today.