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Interlock devices after convictions on drunk driving charges

Ignition interlock devices are required for some drivers who have drunk driving convictions in California. For people who must use one of these devices on the vehicles they drive, it is imperative that they understand the purpose of the device and the way it works.

The purposes of an ignition interlock device is to prevent a driver from operating a vehicle while they are intoxicated and to monitor the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration level. The information that is collected by the device is sent to the ordering agency, such as a probation officer, a court official or the Department of Motor Vehicles. The frequency at which the report is sent varies depending on the program. Some programs receive instant results while other programs get monthly information.

The ignition interlock device requires a breath sample before the vehicle will start. All drivers who operate the vehicle must use the device. After the breath sample is provided, it is analyzed by the computer. If the result is lower than the pre-programmed level, the vehicle will start. If the result is higher, the vehicle will not start. In some cases, drivers will have to provide breath samples while the vehicle is in operation. If the result is too high, the ignition interlock device will signal the driver to stop, but it will not disable the vehicle while it is in motion.

Being convicted of drunk driving can affect every aspect of a person’s life. With that in mind, it is vital that anyone who is facing drunk driving charges explore their options for a defense. Knowing these options and learning about California laws can help defendants to decide on a course of action.

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.