California AB91 Targets 1st Time DUI Offenders for Ignition Interlock

This summer, four California counties will take place in a pilot program for first time DUI offenders. The goal of this program is to see how the installation of ignition interlock devices prevent first time DUI’s and second offense DUI’s.

According to the language of AB91 this pilot program will only be instated in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare counties. The program will go into effect on July 1, 2010 and is anticipated to last until January 1, 2016.

Under current California law, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are only installed after a first-time DUI when the offender’s blood alcohol content is over .15%. This new program will require it be installed on all first time DUI convictions.

An ignition interlock device is simply a lock placed on your car, preventing it from starting until a breath test is taken. The idea is to prevent people convicted of DUI from getting behind the wheel after drinking. More than just that, however, the devices are an extreme inconvenience, simply adding to the headache that is a DUI conviction.

AB91 will apply to all first time DUI convictions in these four counties. People who are convicted and then issued a restricted license or reissued their license after a period of suspension would also be affected. The bill requires the manufacturers and technicians of the devices to adopt a flexible fee schedule, allowing offenders to pay according to their ability.

Although this pilot program only affects four counties, it will make things extremely difficult for DUI convicts in those counties. When you consider how long maintenance and installation on an IID already takes, imagine if every DUI conviction required the equipment. This is somewhat of an extreme measure to put on first time offenders.

Interestingly, part of AB91 not getting a lot of attention is the language that requires makers of the ignition interlock devices to report incidences of false positives to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This aspect could play a crucial role in the defense of repeat DUI offenses when an IID is installed.

If you are facing charges of DUI, whether it’s your first or your fifth charge, I can help. The laws surrounding offenses like this can be confusing and overwhelming, particularly when things like this stand to muddle things from county to county.

Contact our defense lawyers today for assistance on your DUI case. Together we can look at the charges against you and develop a plan of action.