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Understanding California’s ignition interlock device laws


When you have a conviction for driving under the influence on your California record, you can expect it to impact many aspects of your life, from your ability to get to and from work to your bank account. At Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, we recognize that, depending on circumstances, you may need to install an ignition interlock device on your car, truck or van in the wake of a DUI, and that you may need to keep it on there for up to four years.

Per Occupational Health & Safety, California drivers convicted of DUI between January of 2019 and Jan. 1, 2026 may have to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for between one and four years, provided their situations meet at least one of two circumstances. Anyone whose act of drunk driving resulted in an injury can anticipate having to finance and install an ignition interlock on their vehicles. So, too, can anyone who already had an existing DUI on his or her driving record when he or she received another one.

Even if you are not a repeat DUI offender, though, and even if your actions did not, in fact, result in an injury, courts may decide that you need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle anyway. Under these circumstances, the installation period will typically not exceed six months.

In addition to being expensive, having to install and use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle anytime you want to start it can prove embarrassing and humiliating. You can find out more about DUI in California by visiting our webpage.

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