Ignition Interlock Devices: How to get back on the road after a DUI

By Amy R. Schroder
June 15, 2022

In California, we depend on our cars. Driving is an important part of our daily routines and being without your ability to drive for days, weeks, or months can have a devastating impact on you at work or at home. Following a DUI conviction in court or a DMV license suspension, one of the biggest concerns many people have is how to get back on the road.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

After serving any mandatory suspension periods, you may be eligible for a restricted license or an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) restricted license. An IID is a device that is installed in your vehicle. Like a breathalyzer, it tests for alcohol in your breath before allowing you to start the engine and, from time to time, while you are driving.

How Much Does an Ignition Interlock Device Cost in California?

IID devices are available from California certified installers and typically cost $75-$100 to install and approximately $2.50 per day.[1] If the court does not require you to install an IID after a first time DUI, there are ways to get your license back without one; however, you will be limited to when and where you may drive for up to a whole year.[2] If you choose (or are ordered) to install an IID, you will be allowed to drive anywhere and anytime.

Even if you’re not ordered to install an IID, many driver’s choose to do it voluntarily. An IID, along with enrollment in a certified driver safety course[3] and filing an SR-22 certificate, allows you the freedom to get back behind the wheel. For more information on how to protect your ability to drive after a DUI, contact the Law Office of Amy R. Schroder. Get the help you need from a lawyer who is dedicated to every case.

[1] IID installers are required to offer reduced fees for IIDs to participants whose income level falls within the federal poverty level guidelines. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/educational-materials/fast-facts/ignition-interlock-devices-ffdl-31/

[2] One year applicable to first time DUI cases. Additional restrictions will apply to persons with multiple DUI charges (within 10 years), DUI under age 21, excessive blood alcohol content (BAC), DUI collisions, and/or unlicensed driver’s (not an exhaustive list).

[3] For approved classes in San Luis Obispo County, visit https://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Health-Agency/Behavioral-Health/Forms-Documents/Client-Applications,-Intake-Forms-and-Handbooks/Drug-and-Alcohol-Services-Specific-Forms/Driving-Under-the-Influence-(DUI)-Program-Forms/Program-Information/All-Program-DUI-Flyer-FY-18-19-New-approved-fees-r.pdf. For California approved classes, visit https://data.chhs.ca.gov/dataset/licensed-driving-under-the-influence-provider-directory/resource/f58c52a3-c436-4bb0-a4c0-43b34518cd86