Higher Consequences For First Time DUI in LA County

If you got convicted for the first time on a DUI charge in LA County, you’re in for a real treat.

The Law

LA County is part of a “pilot program” (along with Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare counties) started on July 1, 2010, which requires installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) for conviction of the following offenses:

1) Vehicle Code 23152 (DUI);
2) Vehicle Code 23153 (DUI with injury to another person);
3) Penal Code 191.5 (Gross Vehicular Manslaughter).

This means that even upon a FIRST TIME DUI CONVICTION in LA County, you are screwed – you must install the IID on each vehicle you operate. This is a harsher penalty in California because most California counties don’t require installation of the IID for a first time DUI conviction.

What’s an IID?

The Ignition Interlock Device is a device wired to your car’s ignition and requires a clean breath sample from the driver before the engine will start. If it detects alcohol on your breath, the vehicle won’t start. The IID will also require continuous breath samples as you’re driving, to make sure you’re not cruising down the road sipping a vodka Red Bull or another alcoholic beverage of your choice (note: the device doesn’t discriminate – Pabst Blue Ribbon and Newcastle beer will alike cause your car to stop functioning).

How Do I Install the IID on My Car?

Remember that with any California DUI conviction, your license may be suspended by the DMV. Once you learn How to Get a Restricted License, you must provide the DMV with the DL 924 form which is verification the IID has been installed.

To get the IID installed, find a technician on the List of IID Manufacturers and Make Sure They Are Properly Licensed.

For How Long Must I Have the IID Installed?

It depends on the type of offense, but for first time DUI charges in one of the pilot counties, the IID must be installed for 5 months.

What If You Don’t Own a Vehicle?

Then you must carry the IID around with you in your pocket while you ride the bus. (That was a joke.) If you don’t have a vehicle, you can get an exemption by filling out the IID exemption form (form DL 4055B). You have to act fast if you want an exemption though, because the DMV will only approve exemption requests submitted within 30 days of the date your suspension notice was mailed.

As always, be sure to contact a lawyer to make sure you are fully complying with the law.