The fastest way to contact Artz & Sturm: ‪(310) 400-6356‬


What Happens If You Violate Your Interlock Device?

Ignition interlock devices (also known as IIDs) are DUI breath test instruments. If you check interlock installation FAQS, you’ll likely discover that they are installed in the car’s dashboard to prevent it from operating unless you provide an alcohol-free breath sample. About the size of a mobile phone, IIDs are installed on the steering column of the car.

Individuals approved for the restricted driving program are required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. For those individuals, one pressing question often comes to mind: “What happens if I violate my interlock device?”

The answer to the question will depend on several factors, including where you live and the specific requirements laid out in your restricted driving program. The length of the required IID depends on prior convictions, refusal, etc. For instance, as part of the California DUI probation, an IID needs to be installed in every car the violator owns or drives. For IIDs that are court-mandated, there are additional rules to abide by.

Ignition Interlock Device Program Violations

Ignition interlock device programs are laid out in the DMV or the court paperwork. They can also be found in the IID handbook. All 50 states (and Washington DC) have ignition interlock laws.

Who are required to get an IID installed and for how long can vary from one state to another. However, what constitutes a program violation is mostly consistent throughout.

The following are considered ignition interlock device program violations:

  • Failure to install the IID in the vehicle
  • Driving a vehicle without an IID
  • Skipping a rolling retest
  • Failing a rolling retest
  • Failing one (or more) startup tests
  • Tampering with or removing the device
  • Not paying the IID service provider
  • Skipping a service visit
  • Getting arrested for another DUI
  • Getting someone else to take the breath test

It must be noted that in some places like California, ignition interlock devices are designed to ensure that only the driver can provide a breath sample. This is accomplished by:

  • Requiring the violator’s specific breath pattern for sample
  • Requiring random samples, even while driving
  • A very short cord that will not reach the passenger or back seats
  • Making it a crime to ask others to provide a sample fraudulently
  • California IIDs can also detect and record the following:
  • Attempts to tamper or disconnect the device
  • All engine starts and stops
  • All the breath test results

Once installed, you are also required to take your vehicle in to get the IID serviced every 60 days.

Ignition Interlock Device Violations Penalties

Penalties for interlock device violations can also vary from state to state. Some states are lenient and may provide a second or third chance. Others, on the other hand, might impose penalties on the first violation.

In California, first-time DUI defendants may be required to keep the IID in their car for five months. Also, under the California law, a criminal judge can order to have a California IID installed for a period of:

  • One year (after a second DUI conviction)
  • Two years (after a third DUI conviction)
  • Three years (after a fourth or subsequent conviction)

Penalties for violations can include the following:

  • Additional increase in the length of time required to have the device installed
  • Revocation of the restricted license
  • Removal of the device and losing driving privileges
  • Fines
  • Jail time (depending on the violation)
  • Revocation of probation (depending on violation)

If you abide by all the rules, you should complete the restricted driving program without any additional fines or legal fees. Furthermore, if there is an alleged violation, there can be defense raised on equities presented.


In conclusion, if you still have questions or think you did not violate any rules at all, it would be best to consult a qualified and experienced DUI lawyer. Call or contact Artz and Sturm Law Group if you’re dealing with DUI in Los Angeles. Craig Sturm is an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles who can consult with you and advise you on how to move forward.

Comments are closed.