What Is An Ignition Interlock Device As It Relates To My DUI Case?
In the beginning of 2019, the admission interlock device laws changed in every county in California, including Marin County. If you are arrested for DUI, and convicted in court of a DUI, or if you do not win your administrative per se hearing with the DMV, then you have choices. In Marin County, in most cases, the court does not say that you have to have an interlock. In some counties like Sonoma County, they’re requiring everyone to have an interlock, which is up to the court. They have discretion. But in Marin County, it’s not part of the suspension. It’s not part of what’s instructed to you as a condition of your sentence. Basically, it’s up to you whether you want to have the interlock. If you decide to have the interlock, you would be required to have it for six months. Or, you could do one month of no driving, followed by almost a year of work restricted driving.
If you choose the work restricted option, it allows you to go to and from work as well as going to and from DUI school. If you do the interlock, which I’m seeing more and more people choose, you don’t have that month of no driving. Therefore, if you get the interlock right away, have the SR-22 insurance, get enrolled in DUI school, and pay the reissue fee, then you can drive everywhere, anywhere, and anytime you want with the interlock in your car.
The interlock is the device that you blow into to start your car. When you blow into it, it will indicate whether there is alcohol in your system. It actually allows a very small amount of alcohol to account for any alcohol in your system from certain foods or mouthwash. However, it is really important to make sure that you are not blowing into the device with alcohol in system because reports get generated. As a result, you could get in trouble with the DA. The interlock companies sometimes report results to the DA.
Once the car is started and you begin to drive, the interlock will periodically alert you to blow into it again, which is not always the safest thing because you’re supposed to be focused on driving, but you’re required to do that. One of the issues we’ve seen with some clients, especially with COVID-19, is with hand sanitizer. You don’t want to put hand sanitizer on and then grab the interlock device to blow into because the alcohol in the hand sanitizer can easily be read by the machine and give a false positive. So, you want to have your windows down and leave the hand sanitizer on a little while before blowing into the device.
There are different installers throughout Marin County and the Bay Area. We have installers that we can point people to who are in places like San Rafael and Novato. If you are going to need an interlock, it’s important to take care of it ahead of time so that you don’t lose any days of driving if you are convicted of a DUI in court or had your license suspended. One of the things that we’re very good at is making sure we time the DMV and the court so that you don’t have any down days in regard to driving if there is going to be a conviction.
Usually, we can get it done almost right away. As long as we communicate with our clients and the other entities we’re dealing with, we can ensure a smooth process. We want to take care of this for you to the best of our ability. We also like to refer people to companies that we can trust that have really good customer service. One of those companies is Breath Easy Insurance. They handle SR-22 insurance, and they’re owned by an interlock company. They’re SR-22 insurance experts, and they can also direct you to an interlock company and customer service. A company like this is great. It’s really important with the interlocks because a lot of issues arise with these devices.