Starting January 1, 2019, a pilot program operating in four counties expands statewide and will require repeat DUI offenders and first-timers involved in injury crashes to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. The technology, better known as an IID, measures blood alcohol concentration after an individual blows into the device and prevents a car from starting if the driver is not sober.

From July 2010 through 2018, individuals convicted of drunk driving in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento or Tulare counties are required to install an IID in the cars they drive.

Under Senator Hill’s SB 1046, passed by the Legislature in 2016, the pilot program expands to all 58 counties and lifts the IID requirement for first-time DUI offenders who are not involved in crash involving an injury – but at the same time provides a strong incentive for those first-timers to install an IID.

As of New Year’s Day, under California’s IID pilot program, people convicted of:

  • A first DUI involving no injuries may choose to have an IID installed in their cars for six months and retain full driving privileges. Or, they may forgo an IID and opt for a one-year restricted license that permits them only to drive to and from work and to and from a treatment program. Judges retain discretion to require IIDs for these first offenders.
  • A first DUI involving an injury results in mandatory IID installation for one year.
  • A second DUI also results in mandatory IID installation for one year.
  • A third DUI results in a mandatory IID installation for two years.
  • A fourth DUI and subsequent convictions result in mandatory IID installation for three years.

Each year in California more than 1,000 people die in drunk driving crashes. IIDs stopped 220,792 drunk driving attempts by people with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher from December 2006 to December 2017 in the state, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which was instrumental in the passage of SB 1046. Across the U.S. over the same period, IIDs prevented almost 2.7 million drunk driving attempts, according to a MADD study this year.

SB 1046 requires the California Transportation Agency to conduct a study of the statewide pilot program and submit a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2025. The expanded pilot program sunsets on January 1, 2026, unless the Legislature extends or modifies it.

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