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DUI Vehicle Breathalyzer There's No Alternative

How Many DUIs Until I Have To Get a Breathalyzer in My Car?

Many California drivers are now required to drive with a burdensome IID as part of their vehicle. An IID, or ignition interlock device is the equivalent of your vehicle having a private breathalyzer. Designed to be a deterrent for drunk driving, someone with only one DUI conviction may be mandated to use a breathalyzer in their car.

What is an IID Breathalyzer?

Roughly the size of a cell phone, an IID is an electronic device that is able to read the amount of alcohol in your system the same way that a police officer’s handheld breathalyzer does. Since it is attached to the ignition of your vehicle, it will prevent you from driving if it reads that you have been drinking. In addition, it will ask you periodically to blow into it as you drive. If you don’t oblige, the court will be notified.

what is a breathalyzer

When Will the Court Require a Breathalyzer?

In California, the judge has sole discretion when it comes to handing out sentences for DUI offenses. They are permitted to make the requirement for an IID installation in any case involving a drunk driver.

For first-time offenders who have a blood alcohol count of .15% or higher this is a standard consequence for the offense. This form of punishment may also be given to a driver who refused a breathalyzer or a chemical blood test at the time of the arrest. A first DUI conviction may require an IID for 6 months to a year.

If you are caught driving on a suspended license after a conviction, the court can order that the device be installed on your vehicle once that suspension is lifted.

For repeat offenders the installation of the car breathalyzer is almost always going to be a condition of sentencing, even following periods of license suspension. For a second conviction, it is likely that you will be required to drive with an IID for up to two years while third-time convictions will have you driving with the IID for three years. Those who are convicted of four or more offenses may have the breathalyzer on their ignition for four years.

Of course, these driving restrictions are instated only after any jail time and license suspension periods have been completed. Drivers may also apply for restricted licenses which, if granted, can mean a longer period of time with the device.

A DUI conviction stays on the record for ten years making it conceivable that an individual who is convicted at 22 years old, and has a clean record for the subsequent nine years, will face second offense penalties if convicted of another DUI at the age of 31.

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