Help! I’m Required to Use an IID, Can I Still Drive for Work?

[playht_listen_button]Facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can be scary. You may be facing a huge fine, possible jail time, and/or the loss of your driving privilege. Here in San Bernardino, the thought of not being able to drive can be as nerve wracking as any of it. Many individuals in this situation are relieved to hear that, under some circumstances, the court will choose to restrict a driver’s license after a DUI incident rather than suspending it outright. This restriction comes with a few strings attached though, the biggest of which is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. This restriction poses a problem for people who drive a company car to make a living. Thankfully, there is a workaround. Read on to find out more.

The best way to avoid being ordered to use an ignition interlock device is to do everything in your power not to be convicted of driving under the influence in the first place. This starts with hiring an experienced San Bernardino DUI attorney from My Rights Law. To learn more simply fill out our online contact form.

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What’s an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An ignition interlock device (or IID) is a small breathalyzer that when installed on the dashboard of an automobile prevents that vehicle from turning on unless the driver is able to provide a passing breath sample. To provide a breath sample the driver blows into the IID (much like you would a roadside breathalyzer) and the device measures their breath alcohol concentration (BAC). When first installed the IID is programmed with a “passing threshold”, i.e. the BAC level that the driver’s breath sample must be below in order for the car to turn on. If the driver’s breath sample passes this threshold then the vehicle will turn on, however, the driver will need to provide additional passing breath samples periodically throughout their trip or else the IID will turn their vehicle off.

Ignition interlock devices here in California keep track of all failed breath tests, as well as detected attempts to tamper with the device. This record is viewed by the IID installer during the device’s regularly scheduled recalibration appointments (which are usually conducted every 60 days or so) and is then reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Ignition Interlock Devices for DUI Convictions in California

Each state has their own set of laws that prohibit driving under the influence (or driving while intoxicated). In California we have section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code which makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle while “under the influence” of alcohol. In this context, a person is considered to be under the influence of alcohol if an alcoholic substance has impaired their physical or mental abilities to the point that they are no longer able to operate a vehicle as a cautious sober person would. Additionally, a person can be convicted of driving under the influence if he/she was operating a vehicle while their BAC was 0.08% or higher.

When an individual is convicted of driving under the influence in California, he/she can face a host of different penalties and punishments. Depending on whether or not the individual is a repeat DUI offender, and whether any aggravating factors were involved, he/she may be facing fines, jail time, a license suspension, mandatory alcohol treatment programs, and/or having an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

Thanks to Senate Bill 1046, some California drivers who would have had their driver’s license suspended for driving under the influence in the past are now eligible to instead opt for a restricted driver’s license, provided that they have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. This law took effect statewide on January 1, 2019 and is great news for San Bernardino drivers who have gotten into trouble for driving under the influence and can now get back on the road, and back to the routine of their daily lives, more quickly simply by utilizing an IID.

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Driving for Work When Required to Use an IID

Lots of people drive to make a living. Long-haul truck drivers, couriers, mailmen, and pizza delivery guys, just to name a few. So what happens when one of these individuals gets into trouble for driving under the influence and suddenly has a restricted driving license in their hand and an IID installed in their personal vehicle; can they drive a company vehicle that doesn’t have an IID installed? Fortunately yes, they can, provided that they comply with the rules set forth under section 23576 of the CA Vehicle Code.

Section 23576 of the California Vehicle Code states that “if a person is required to operate a motor vehicle in the course and scope of his or her employment and if the vehicle is owned by the employer, the person may operate that vehicle without installation of a functioning, certified ignition interlock device if the employer has been notified by the person that the person’s driving privilege has been restricted… and if the person has proof of that notification in his or her possession.”

In other words, if you have a restricted driver’s license and an IID installed in your personal vehicle you can still legally drive your employer’s company vehicle if you (1) notify your boss that your driving privilege has been restricted and (2) carry a completed copy of Form 923 (i.e. Notice to Employers Ignition Interlock Restriction) on your person or in the employer’s vehicle. A printable version of Form 923 can be found here, however you may want to discuss your legal rights and options with a local San Bernardino DUI attorney before asking your employer to sign this form.

Questions? My Rights Law is Here to Help

The experienced San Bernardino DUI lawyers of My Rights Law assist clients accused with driving under the influence in California with a wide range of legal issues. We handle everything from DMV hearings to defending clients in court against DUI charges. If you have questions about your legal rights concerning IIDs or any other matter related to a DUI charge feel free to give our San Bernardino office a call today at (909) 361-6767.