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Settlement Negotiations

Ignition interlock device (IID) is a mechanism similar to a breathalyzer which is installed in a vehicle's dashboard. Before the vehicle can be started, the driver must breathe into the device. If the analyzed result is over a programed blood alcohol concentration the vehicle will not start. Although new California law requires the devices' mandatory installation in all multiple DUI cases (California V.C. Section 23575 - Authorized and Mandatory Installation of Ignition Interlock Device), the equipment can also be a powerful negotiating tool in a first-time drunk driving case.

The devices are now mandatory for drivers convicted of two or more DUI offenses within 10 years, and can even be required for first offenses. Even in cases where the device is mandatory, a skilled California DUI defense lawyer may be able to leverage the use of an ignition interlock device to avoid more stringent punishment.

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When an ignition interlock device is installed in a vehicle, the driver must blow into the device to demonstrate his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) doesn't exceed a certain level - usually zero. The device is installed with tamper-resistant tape, and the driver must use a specific breathing technique to ensure that another person doesn't blow into the collection tube. It is a crime in California to attempt to assist anyone in disabling an ignition interlock (California Vehicle Code Section 23247 - Ignition Interlock Device Prohibitions), or to blow into the tube to start the vehicle for another driver.

Once the car is in operation, "rolling re-tests" are required at specific intervals to ensure that the driver is alcohol-free. The equipment records the result of each test, along with any attempts to tamper with the equipment.

When the court orders use of an ignition interlock device (IID), one must be installed by an authorized installer and provide proof of the installation to the court.

The court has special forms and procedures to monitor drivers ordered to have the device installed. After the court notifies the California Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV marks driving record so law enforcement officers will be aware of the IID requirement if you are stopped. The California DMV will also place a restriction on your driver license.

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