Major Changes to CA DUI Law

Statewide Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Pilot Program (SB 1046)

Starting January 1, 2019, a major change took effect which impacts those charged with DUI.  Prior law did not mandate an ignition interlock device (IID) to be installed into an offender’s vehicle upon conviction of DUI. In fact, there was a great deal of discretion by the sentencing Judge when determining if an IID would be ordered.  Senate Bill 1046 changes this!

An ignition interlock device is a small device, about the size of a cellphone, that is installed in the steering column of a vehicle.  In order for a vehicle to start the person must provide an alcohol free sample. Once the vehicle has started, rolling samples must be provided during the course of driving. The cost of the device is based upon a sliding scale; however, it is generally about $2.00 to $3.00 a day.  There is an installation fee of approximately $75.00 to $150.00.  Senate Bill 1046 allows low income offenders to obtain financial assistance by having costs reduced requiring the IID provider to pay the remaining amount of the fee.

Prior to this new law taking effect, four counties (Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare) were a part of an IID pilot program which began July 1, 2010.  It was originally to sunset on January 1, 2016; however, was extended through the end of 2018. Offenders in these four counties were mandated to equip their vehicles with an IID upon conviction.  The installation period was as low as 5 (five) months for a first offender and up to 4 (four) years for a DUI resulting in injury with three prior convictions.

Senate Bill 1046 was approved by Former Governor Jerry Brown on September 28, 2016 and took effect on January 1, 2019.  The bill sunsets on January 1, 2026.  This legislation expands the pilot program throughout the State of California and provides for slight modifications of the current program.  Should an individual be convicted of or receive an administrative suspension for an alcohol related offense then this bill makes the person eligible to immediately obtain a restricted license without having to serve a hard suspension period.  Additionally, the individual could choose to immediately install an IID into his/ her vehicle and obtain credit toward the mandatory period as long as he/ she has obtained a restricted license.

Upon an APS action pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 13353.2 an individual will now be eligible to obtain a restricted license immediately upon providing proof of enrollment in an alcohol program, filing an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility form), paying an administrative fee and equipping his/ her vehicle with an IID. The APS suspension on a first offense is 4 months.  The first offender has a choice when determining if he/ she wants to obtain a restricted license.  A first offender can either obtain a 4 month IID restricted license which allows for full driving privileges, or a non IID restricted license which requires a 30 day hard suspension and 5 month restriction period. The restriction period would allow the person to drive to/ from employment, during the course of employment, and to/ from the alcohol program.  A multi-offender would now be eligible to obtain a restricted license immediately upon suspension.  The restricted license for the multi-offender on an APS action would be 12 months.

Upon conviction for DUI, the IID will be mandatory in all cases except for first offenders whose case does not result in injury.  A non-injury first offender can choose to either obtain an IID restricted license for 6 months or obtain a non IID restricted license for a period of 12 months. The non IID restricted license would only authorize driving to/ from employment, during the course of employment, and to/ from the alcohol program.  A first offense causing injury would require the IID to be installed for a period of one year.  A second offender would be required to maintain the IID for a period of one year.  A third offender would be required to have the IID for a period of two years.  For fourth and subsequent DUIs, the IID would be mandated for a period of three years.

As a reminder, there is no APS action taken when an offender is arrested for DUI due to drugs (as long as there was no refusal).  The offender would still face a license suspension upon conviction in Court.  A conviction under Vehicle Code Section 23152 (c) [driving while addicted to a drug] and/ or Vehicle Code Section 23152 (f) [driving under the influence of a drug (DUID)] does not allow for an IID restricted license on a first offense; however, a multi-offender convicted of a DUID would now have the option to apply for an IID restricted license after completing 12 months of a hard suspension period.

Should you have any questions how this new bill affects you or a loved one do not hesitate to contact Parker Law Center for additional information!

2019-01-14T19:27:19+00:00
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