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Is an ignition interlock system the key to starting your car?

Like many people in California, you may have, at some point in your life, made a choice that you later regretted. For instance, perhaps you went out with friends once and chose to get behind the wheel of a car to drive after imbibing alcohol. You only had a drink or two, so you really didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time, until you wound up facing DUI charges after a police officer pulled you over on the way home.

Such situations don't have to ruin your life, however. In fact, there may even be a way you can continue to drive following a DUI conviction. Of course, it's all the better if you can avoid conviction altogether, but if not, then making the best of a bad situation is often the key to getting life back on track. If you install an ignition interlock device in your car, you may be able to drive, but you'll also want to beware of the possible ramifications of failing a breath test.

IID facts and what to do if a problem arises

A DUI conviction can cause long-lasting problems in your personal and professional life, especially if you have a driver's license suspension. The following list provides information regarding ignition interlock systems and how installing one in your vehicle may help you overcome some of the problems often associated with DUI:

  • In some circumstances, the option to install an IID is yours. At other times, the court may mandate you to install one of these devices in your vehicle.
  • An IID places your vehicle ignition system in a locked-down mode. To start your car, you must pass a test by blowing into the device.
  • Some people try to beat the system by having someone else take the breath test on their IIDs. Although this trick may appear to work at first, the system typically requires you to take repeat tests at various intervals while traveling, which could pose a serious problem if you drink alcohol before doing so. 
  • If the court orders you to install an IID in your car, you can't do it yourself. You must prove that an authorized person installed the device in your vehicle.
  • An IID allows you to retain your driving privileges, which means you'd still have transportation to get to work and a lot more personal freedom than you might have if you had to hand over your driver's license because of DUI.
  • An IID may greatly decrease your chances of alcohol-related collision or a repeat DUI incident.

Any number of legal issues could arise with regard to installing an IID in your car. Removing a device that the court has ordered you to install or driving another person's vehicle to avoid taking a breath test places you at serious risk for additional legal problems.

A criminal defense attorney knows your rights and is typically well-versed in California DUI laws as well as all regulations pertaining to ignition interlock devices.

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