California has an ignition interlock device pilot program in four counties where all convicted DUI offenders must use these devices.

Drunk drivers are a major problem in California and across the country. People who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking put the lives of others in danger. Catastrophic car accidents caused by drunk drivers are preventable. Yet, these collisions injure and kill thousands of people every year. Some states have implemented the use of ignition interlock devices (IID) as a way to reduce the number of repeat drunk drivers on the road. At least 23 states in the nation have laws in place requiring all convicted DUI offenders to use an interlock device on their vehicles. California has implemented a pilot program, enforcing a mandatory IID law in four counties, including Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare.


Ignition interlock devices measure the driver’s blood alcohol content level, and then regulate the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle based on that reading. According to TechHive, the interlock device monitor is set to a baseline BAC level, which is usually 0.02 percent. The car will only start if the driver has a BAC level that is below that limit. Not only is the driver required to submit a breath sample prior to starting the car, but rolling retests are needed to keep the car going. In addition to monthly maintenance appointments, drivers are responsible for the installation and removal costs.


In many states where ignition interlock device use is required for all convicted DUI offenders, the drunk driving fatality rate has dropped considerably. Arizona, Louisiana, Oregon, West Virginia and New Mexico have all had at least a 30 percent decline in the number of people killed in drunk driving car accidents each year. Studies released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that IIDs work to reduce the number of repeat drunk drivers by 67 percent. This is significant, as up to 75 percent of DUI offenders who have had their driver’s licenses suspended continue to drive.


According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 290,000 people were injured and 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving car accidents in 2013. Out of the 3,000 people killed in motor vehicle accidents in California that year, 867 deaths were caused by drunk drivers. This represents 29 percent of all traffic accident fatalities in the state.


Drunk driving car accidents can cause serious injuries and even death to innocent motorists and pedestrians. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, you may want to consider speaking to a personal injury attorney in California regarding your legal options and rights.