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Ignition Interlock Device Laws in California

Low Cost Interlock is a premier provider of certified ignition interlock devices in California. With interlock device installation locations in over 50 cities in California, our goal is to make the interlock process as easy as possible for our clients. We are here to help with every step of the way and can answer all of your specific California interlock questions.

California Ignition Interlock Guidelines

The California interlock device laws differ from many other states, which is why it is important to fully understand your state-specific guidelines. In California, if you are convicted of a DUI your penalties will differ on a case by case basis, but there are general protocols that are common. Usual penalties in California are license suspension, mandatory alcohol program and fines.

As of January 1, 2019 a statewide ignition interlock device pilot program was implemented, requiring all repeat and all injury-involved driving under the influence (DUI) offenders to install an IID for a time-period ranging from one to four years, depending on the number of prior DUI convictions. Offenders who install an IID may drive anytime or anywhere, if the vehicle is equipped with an IID.

Read more about the ignition interlock device pilot program here.

According to California State Law, attempting to remove your ignition interlock device is considered noncompliance and failure to take a rolling retest can end in a system lockout. In addition, if your breath alcohol level is above the California limit, your car will not start and could end in a lockout. California ignition interlock program participants cannot drive a car that doesn’t have a working ignition interlock device in it. And if you are traveling out of California you still need to comply with the rules of the California interlock program.

California DUI Penalties

Each county in California has slightly different DUI penalties. Because of this, it is important to research and understand the penalties of the county you were convicted in. In certain counties, a DUI violation results in mandatory penalties that are non-negotiable.

For example, Riverside and Ventura Counties are known to have some of the strictest rules surrounding DUI convictions. In most DUI cases tried in Riverside or Ventura county, jail time is mandated even on a first offense. To learn more about county specific DUI information, click your city below!

For more information on California’s DUI laws, click here.

General Information

Pursuant to state law, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will conduct a Statewide Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Pilot Program that requires all repeat and all injury-involved driving under the influence (DUI) offenders to install an IID for a time-period ranging from one to four years, depending on the number of prior DUI convictions. Offenders who install an IID may drive anytime or anywhere, as long as the vehicle is equipped with an IID.

The pilot program applies to DUI offenders convicted of a DUI involving alcohol or a combination of alcohol and drugs, and whose offenses occur on or after January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2025, except for the following offenders:

  • First-time offenders whose violation did not involve drugs only, and did not result in injury.
  • Repeat offenders whose violation involved drugs only.
  • Offenders who were administratively suspended after their DUI arrest.
  • Offenders approved for an IID exemption.

Mandatory IID Installation Period for Multiple and Injury Offenders

Number of Prior DUI Convictions Within 10 Years Mandatory IID Restriction Term Non-Injury offenses Mandatory IID Restriction Term
Injury Offenses, or
Vehicular Manslaughter Offenses
0 None 1 year
1 1 year 2 years
2 2 years 3 years
3 or more 3 years 3 years
1 or more prior felony convictions 3 years 4 years

IID Restriction Requirements

Pilot program participants may immediately comply with the mandatory IID installation without serving any suspension or revocation period.  Before applying for an IID-restricted driver license, all offenders must meet the following requirements:

  • Clear all other outstanding suspensions or revocations on the driving record.
  • Install an IID on a vehicle the offender operates and provide DMV with a Verification of Installation Ignition Interlock form (DL 920).
  • Provide a Proof of Enrollment Certificate (DL 107) or Notice of Completion Certificate (DL 101) for the appropriate DUI program length.
  • Provide a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22).
  • Pay all applicable reissue and restriction fees, including additional Administrative Service Fees.

Alcohol-Involved First-Time Offenders

Under the pilot program, first-time alcohol-related DUI offenders may have a court-ordered IID installation period of up to six months upon conviction.  In the absence of a court-ordered IID, first time offenders may opt to apply for an IID restriction for up to six months, or may opt to apply for a restriction allowing them to drive to, from, and during the course of their employment and to and from their DUI program for one year.

Drug-Only Repeat Offenders

Repeat offenders whose offense involved drugs only may qualify for an IID-restricted driver license after serving at least one year of their DUI suspension or revocation.

Administrative Per Se Offenders

Administrative Per Se (APS) offenders may opt to apply for an IID restriction for up to four months for a first-time non-refusal offense, and up to one year for a repeat non-refusal offense. These offenders may avoid any suspension period by applying for the optional IID restriction immediately.

APS offenders who opted to apply for an IID restriction may receive credit towards the required mandatory IID installation period, if convicted. Only multiple and injury offenders have a mandatory IID restriction period. 

Exemption from Mandatory IID Installation

Offenders subject to mandatory IID installation under the pilot program may qualify for an exemption. If an exemption is granted, offenders must serve their full suspension or revocation term and complete their DUI treatment program. Additional information can be found in the Exemption Requests link below.

Driving During the Scope of Your Employment

You may drive your employer’s vehicle during the scope of your employment without an IID if you currently possess an IID-restricted driver license. To qualify, you must complete a Notice to Employers Ignition Interlock Restriction (DL 923) form and provide it to your employer. You are also required to keep a copy of the form in your possession or with your employer’s vehicle.

If you have been granted an exemption from the mandatory IID installation, then you do not qualify for the Employer’s Vehicle exemption.

Customers with questions related to a DUI suspension or revocation should contact the Mandatory Actions Unit at (916) 657-6525.