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Law Firm of Aaron Bortel

Is The Ignition Interlock Device Required In A Drug DUI Case?


Typically, the interlock device is something that would be required when someone is convicted for alcohol, but it can be required on a second offense. I’ve seen prosecutors ask for interlock devices on drug DUI cases because they just want to make sure that the defendants aren’t also at risk of drinking and driving.

What Are The Collateral Consequences Of Having A Drug Related DUI Convictions?

Typically, the consequences include a three-year probation period and fines in the amount of a couple of thousand dollars. There will be suspensions and restrictions of the driver’s license, and an ignition interlock device may be required depending on the county and how many priors someone has. There may be some jail time, sheriff’s work program time, electronic monitoring, AA meetings, or residential treatment required. There are so many different things that can happen in these cases, including some travel restrictions. For example, you’re not allowed to go to Canada if you have an alcohol or drug related DUI or driving conviction. There are a lot of hoops that you have to jump through, although I’m not going to go into the details. There are some ways of getting into Canada one time (or sometimes more), but you would need to deal with the Canadian immigration attorneys. So, that is a consequence that a lot of people don’t think about.

In addition, a lot of people find out the hard way while applying for jobs, that you need to reveal convictions to potential employers. If you omit this information and the employer finds out, then you’re definitely not going to get the job. Depending on what kind of work you do, your current employer may even find out about it. If you drive for a living, then you may have already lost your job right after getting arrested (before you’re even convicted). There are all sorts of licenses that can be on the line when someone receives a DUI conviction, whether it’s a medical, legal or pharmaceutical license. We get a lot of clients who are professionals in the medical industry, and they have to reveal the DUI conviction when reapplying for their medical licenses.

If we have a client who is at risk of losing their professional license, then we will direct them into doing the type of counseling that’s going to be needed. Sometimes we even refer them to an attorney whose main practice is dealing with the licensing boards. This type of thing is more civil in nature and should be dealt with sooner rather than later. The person may need to take classes, counseling or even participate in a residential program depending on the degree of severity. If we’re talking about your livelihood being on the line and all the years you spent to get licensed, it would be criminal to think you can take the licensing boards on by yourself. Don’t do it. It’s a small investment to get an attorney who deals with the licensing boards compared to what you stand to lose.

You want to get someone who is very experienced. We refer some clients to attorneys who are fantastic in those areas, and almost all of my clients have been able to retain their professional licenses, especially in the medical field. If clients have already had their licenses taken away, we are often able to get them back as quickly as possible.

How to go about keeping licenses for immigration purposes is a topic that could be a whole interview in itself. In those cases, I’m going to direct them to an immigration attorney who is great at dealing with those sorts of issues. We have some great immigration attorneys that we will refer people to because we know that they understand this law and can help people no matter what their immigration consequences are.

One of the counties that I deal with a lot is Marin County in the San Francisco Bay area. In Marin County, second offenses carry mandatory jail time sentences. Just recently, I was able to convince the judge that my client couldn’t go to jail because ICE was in the jail waiting to snatch up and deport anyone who was not legal. We were able to keep my client out of jail on a second offense. The DA’s office requires a 96 hour mandatory minimum on a plea for a second DUI. But for someone who is not here legally, facing jail time means facing the ICE and deportation.

The client that I represented had three children who all had learning disabilities. They were all born in this country and they’d been in this country their whole lives. My client had a good job and was helping to support his special needs children who needed their father. We were able to get the judge to see what was going on and eventually get the result we wanted. We were able to keep that client from having to do 96 hours in jail. Those are the battles that we face with multiple offenses because the prosecution is going to be asking for more serious sanctions on multiple DUIs.

If the first offense is a drug DUI, they may not treat it that much differently for penalty purposes than an alcohol DUI. But if there are prior convictions, we certainly need to look out and be prepared. This is why you need to have an attorney who understands how to deal with these cases, and who knows the procedures in each courthouse. You need an attorney who knows how to avoid consequences that can result in the loss of professional licenses, careers and families. These cases need to be taken very seriously. Finding an attorney who just does general criminal defense (and only some DUIs) puts you at risk of more serious things happening, if not now, then down the road.

For more information on Ignition Interlock Device In A DUI Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

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