SmartStart ignition interlock devices save lives. They save money. They make our roads safer for everyone who drives on them. But there are both legal and deeply personal reasons to have a Smart Start ignition interlock devices installed. Sometimes, Smart Start ignition interlock devices are ordered by the court; other times, Smart Start ignition interlock devices are installed on command from a higher authority, such as a parent.
The most common reason for a Smart Start ignition interlock device is a California DUI or drunk driving conviction. Changes in California law effective September 20, 2005 have significantly increased the number of ignition interlock devices that will be required in California.
First-offense DUI convictions may require an ignition interlock device; the judge has discretion to order this device for a first-time drunk driving conviction, though heightened consideration will be given in cases involving a BAC that is .15 or higher, where there is a refusal to take a chemical test, or where there is an accident or some other aggravating factor.
Second-offense DUI convictions will require the driver to install an ignition interlock device as a condition of their being granted probation. The court will have discretion as to whether to order the device for one year, two years, or three years, but all second-time drunk driving convictions will require that an ignition interlock device be installed in the offender’s car.
Third-time DUI convictions (or fourth-time drunk driving cases, or more) will likewise require that an ignition interlock device be installed in the offender’s car.
Notwithstanding those cases where ignition interlock installations are required by law, there are many cases where it makes good tactical sense for a criminal defense lawyer to seek the installation of a Smart Start ignition interlock device following a DUI. For example, in an aggravated DUI or drunk driving case, the installation of an ignition interlock device may be a preferable and cost-effective alternative to jail time for the offender. Installation of a Smart Start of California ignition interlock device may allow the suspected DUI driver to remain free of custody or allowed to drive pending the outcome of the case.
Ignition interlock orders allow DUI offenders to continue working, paying taxes, supporting their families and contributing to society while staying within the legal licensing system. Monitoring drivers allows them to seek treatment and reduces overcrowding in jails. At the same time, it effectively counteracts the problem of drivers continuing to drink and drive with suspended licenses. Smart Start of California is here to help those who need an ignition interlock device, and we are here to take your call at any time, day or night. Please call on us 24/7 at 1-800-880-3394 . There’s no cost or obligation, and the call is free. 1-800-880-3394