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Interlock Devices in California

ignition interlock devicesOver the past few years, ignition interlock devices have become increasingly more common. If you’re convicted of a DUI in California, you may be required by the courts to install this equipment in your vehicle for a period of time. While you may know what the device is, you probably have a few questions regarding the specifics. Here is the information you need to know about ignition interlock devices.

Cost of Ignition Interlock Devices

DUIs come with many costs. You’ll be required to pay court costs, attend classes that have certain expenses, and adhere to other financial obligations handed down by the court. Additionally, an ignition interlock device may be required in your vehicle, and it costs money to have this equipment installed and calibrated.

If you think of the cost of your interlock device in terms of a daily expense, it’s a pretty affordable alternative to being stuck without your own form of transportation. According to, Interlock devices can actually cost as little as $2.15 per day, meaning they’re cheaper than the average cup of coffee or fast food sandwich.

Various elements, types of equipment, and functionality can increase the cost of interlock devices, such as:

  • Camera units
  • Mouthpieces
  • Installation
  • Removal
  • Calibrations
  • Reporting
  • Device maintenance

It’s important to remember that costs vary from state to state. Your friend in Ohio may not have the same costs as you do in California. Additionally, the longer you’re required to have the interlock device, the more money you’re going to pay overall. One note of caution, the year, make, and model of your vehicle could impact the cost of your device, particularly when it comes to installation and removal.

Many states—California included—offer financial assistance, barring certain income requirements. If you feel you’re unable to pay for your interlock device, consult with a California DUI attorney who can help you better understand the requirements for financial assistance.

Purpose of Ignition Interlock Devices

Interlock devices were created to prevent repeat offenses. If you’re required to install this equipment on your vehicle, it really is for your own safety, as well as the safety of others on and around the roadways.

The average first-time DUI offense costs upwards of $10,000. Multiple offenses can cost significantly more, particularly if someone is harmed or property is damaged during the process. Ignition interlock systems have been proven to be an incredibly effective way to reduce multiple offenses. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), people who have an interlock device installed on their ignition are 67 percent less likely to offend than those who were simply given a suspended-license penalty.

Interlock Devices & DUI Lawyers

You may think you’re stuck with the sentence the court hands down if you’ve been arrested for a DUI, but that’s not true. Your charges and punishments could be substantially reduced if you hire an experienced DUI lawyer who understands state and local laws.

Generally speaking, DUI attorneys are three times more likely to get your charges reduced than if you went into the courtroom alone. If you represent yourself, you’re likely to pay around $7,000 or more between court fees, fines, and insurance increases.

When you hire the help of a seasoned DUI attorney, you can expect a significant reduction in these costs. Although attorneys’ fees will cost you a few thousand dollars, the amount of money you’ll save on court fines and insurance hikes usually pays for itself. Experienced attorneys will argue on your behalf.

Often, an interlock device is a better alternative to not driving at all, as it allows you to continue making an income without interruption, thus enabling you to continue to provide for your family.

DUIs are nothing to ignore. They’re serious offenses with serious consequences, but when you have an expert DUI attorney at your side, you’re setting yourself up for the best possible outcome, no matter what your circumstance.

Interlock devices are just one penalty associated with drinking-and-driving charges. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, call Jon Artz to discuss your case today.

Here is an infographic about interlock devices, with thanks and credit to

infographic about interlock devices

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