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Investigating the reliability of California's ignition interlock devices

The NHTSA has created standards that must be met for all ignition interlock devices, ensuring that they are reliable and effective.
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    December 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Although various media campaigns and organizations push to lower the percentage of DUI related fatalities that occur across the United States, arrests for first-time and multiple DUIs continue.

Ignition interlock devices have been introduced as a possible solution to the problem. In place of license suspension, courts are able to mandate the installation of interlock devices, which act like a lock on the vehicle's ignition system.

California regulations

In California, the courts are given the ability to determine whether or not a DUI offender should be granted use of an ignition interlock device. An ongoing interlock program is currently in effect in Los Angeles, as well as in Alameda, Tulare and Sacramento counties. The device is wired into the vehicle's ignition and requires the driver to give a breath sample before it will start. If the alcohol content from the breath sample reads greater than 0.030 percent, the car's ignition will lock.

Not only is the offender responsible for paying for the initial installation of the device, but they are also required to fund the calibration and regular maintenance of the interlock system. The device will remain in place for a certain amount of time depending on the severity of the offense.
- First offense: 5 months
- Second offense: 12 months
- Third offense: 24 months
- Fourth offense: 36 months

Requirements for approval

In order to be approved for an ignition interlock device rather than having their driver's license suspended, the offender must meet the following requirements:
- They must have an interlock device installed in all of the vehicles they are able to drive, and present proof of doing so to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
- They must be approved for a restricted driver's license from the California DMV.
- Every sixty days, they must schedule routine maintenance with a certified provider of the ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock device reliability

The NHTSA has created standards that must be met for all ignition interlock devices, ensuring that they are reliable and effective. At least seventeen states have adopted the interlock device program, which makes it mandatory for an interlock device to be installed upon conviction of a DUI. Most of them report seeing amazing results in the declining number of DUI fatalities, as well as the number of DUI offenders who are re-arrested for a DUI offense.

Speak to an attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI offense, it is important to contact a reputable attorney who has extensive experience in the field of California DUIs. A knowledgeable lawyer has the latest information on California's DUI laws and restrictions, and can ensure that your rights are being upheld.

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