New DUI Law Takes Effect in California

Apr 10, 2019

Ignition_interlock.jpgAs of January 1st, 2019, a new law, Senate Bill 1046, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, took effect throughout the state of California. The pilot program, implemented only in the counties of Los Angeles, Sacramento, Tulare, and Alameda is now in position state-wide. Every person convicted of a DUI must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in the steering column of their car that prevents it from starting if the driver fails the breathalyzer test attached. What does this mean?

  • Driving privileges can be reinstated much sooner. That's better than waiting out a long mandatory suspension.  Getting to school, work and carrying out your daily routine is no longer a problem.
  • In previous pilot counties, ignition interlock devices prevented thousands of people who registered above the legal limit of 0.08 from starting their vehicles. That's good news for them and the rest of the people on the road. Even with suspended licenses, data shows that at least half of drivers get behind the wheel anyway out of necessity. This often leads to additional arrests and consequences that solve nothing. Even worse, some may drive under the influence again and cause further injury to themselves and others.
  • This law stays in place until January 1, 2026, then possibly renewed again if proven effective.

How Long Are Drivers Required to Use the IID?

Times vary depending on injuries inflicted:

  • First offense with no injuries: 6 months / With injury: 1 year
  • Second offense: 1 year
  • Third offense: 2 years
  • Fourth and following offenses: 3 years

Drug-only DUI's are excluded from an IID restricted license.

Additional Safety Measures

The driver is required to give samples every 5 to 15 minutes, and then every 45 minutes. Any failed test during operation is recorded, as well as any infractions below. Drivers are subject to reinstatement of suspension, severe fines, anywhere from $600 to $1800 for first violations, and even jail time if they:

  • Tamper with the mouthpiece 
  • Have someone else take the breath test for them
  • Fail to have the device checked every 60 days
  • Drive another vehicle

Costs of Using An Ignition Interlock Device

With an initial installation fee of about $100, it costs an average of $80 a month to maintain and could require additional service, all of which the driver is responsible for. However, if financially strapped, assistance is available.

Facing A DUI

If you or a loved one is dealing with a possible DUI conviction, facing the consequences can be overwhelming. Fines from $390 to $5000, possible jail time, and the tremendous embarrassment that goes along with it is something you shouldn't cope with alone.


Finding the right attorney you can trust to help you through the process, even lessen the severity of the charges, makes a lot of sense. You need someone who has your best interests in mind, who knows the laws inside and out.


The Mitchell Law Group has extensive experience defending DUI and criminal cases in the Central Valley area. Michael E. Mitchell is a member of the prestigious National College of DUI Defense and California DUI Lawyers Association. He is also a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner, so he's an expert when it comes to testing techniques and their results. He works hard to keep his DUI clients out of jail and safeguards their driving privilege.


If you have further questions about the new California DUI law or anything else related to criminal law contact us today so we can help.


Category: DUI News

Michael Mitchell


Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.