A new change to an old California DUI law went into effect on January 1, 2009. In the past a judge was told, by law, to give “heightened consideration” to applying an ignition interlock device to offenders’ cars that had been caught with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of greater than .20%. What changed is that threshold, the percentage at which a judge should heighten his consideration.
Now, if you are caught with a BAC greater than only .15% you may be sentenced to an ignition interlock device. When the law says a judge should give “heightened consideration” to something it doesn’t mean the judge has to impose this sanction but it is almost like the law strongly recommends it.
The legal limit for DUI in California is .08% so this heightened consideration will be applied if you are less than twice the legal limit.
An ignition interlock device is a piece of equipment, installed in your personal vehicle, which registers your BAC level before allowing you to drive. It is, essentially, your own personal mobile breathalyzer. Your car will not function if you have alcohol in your system when you have this device installed. These are inconvenient pieces of equipment but ones that lawmakers believe make the roadways safer.
In addition to the added hassle of this gadget, you are required to pay for the installation and maintenance of the device. The cost varies by location and company but an average is approximately $2.50 per day. This is about $17.50 per week that you are responsible for throughout the sentence.
An ignition interlock device is only one small hassle in the scheme of things when you are facing a DUI conviction. Charges like this can stick with you for life. An experienced California DUI attorney is needed to help you through the system.