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Things are about to get tougher in California for drivers who are found to be driving under the influence. Some things will change after January 1st, 2019 with new DUI laws in California. Some of the changes include

  • All California residents are required to obtain an ignition interlock device, even if it is a first-time DUI offense.
  • Californian residents who are convicted of a DUI (also first DUI that involves an injury) are able to apply for a restricted license if an ignition interlock device is installed, as long as all requirements are completed.

Additionally, if you are able to drive between your residence and work you may be required to complete a treatment program. The requirement for the IID increases in time length for second-time offenders to one year, two years for third-time violators. Other major fines and penalties, including suspension of license, are possible.

Ignition Interlock Effectiveness

These changes in California IID laws didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. Let’s dive into some background: According to the CDC, from 2003-2012 over 10,000 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in California. About four years ago in California, Senator Jerry Hill and others began working on legislation to save some of these lives. In 2016, testing of a pilot program that featured Ignition Interlock Devices began in four counties of California: Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Sacramento. The findings of the pilot program were significant.

A California DMV report titled “Specific Deterrent Evaluation of the Ignition Interlock Pilot Program in California” found:

  • The use of Ignition Interlock Devices decreased repeat offenses by nearly 75% more than license suspension for first-time offenders.
  • For second-time offenders, recidivism was still decreased by about 70%.
  • Even incidents involving third-time and subsequent offenders dropped significantly.

Reducing alcohol-related crashes and fatalities is a common goal across the nation. If the predicted decreases hold statewide, deaths and injuries from alcohol-related accidents would drop significantly. And the costs are not that great. The cost of an IID per month is very reasonable, with a small installation fee.

California is sending a worthwhile message here: Don’t risk a DUI in California! Drink responsibly, and don’t drink and drive. This pattern is not singular to California. Nearly thirty states around the country have now enacted tougher DUI laws that feature the use of the Ignition Interlock Device as a deterrent to offenders.

What the News DUI Laws in California Mean?

What does this mean to you, if you are a driver in California or one of the other states which have enacted these tougher laws? In short, it means that if you are drinking, don’t get behind the wheel. The designated driver is one option that, while familiar, is tried and true. When out with a group, pick one person who will not be drinking to perform driving duties for the evening. If you are drinking, drink responsibly. A mistake made can drastically alter your life and those of others.

How RoadGuard Interlock Can Help

If you have been charged for driving under the influence, let us help. RoadGuard Interlock features the highest quality Ignition Interlock Devices, with all the latest and best features, such as fast warm-up time, at a great price. Sometimes forgotten in the hustle and bustle of modern life is the fact that we are all in this together. To get back on the road today, contact us now!


*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. RoadGuard Interlock did not create nor develop and does not own any such third-party websites. RoadGuard Interlock does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in any such third-party website links. RoadGuard Interlock is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction, or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.