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New DUI and Police Transparency Laws in California

DUI Ignition Interlock Devices

Several years ago California began a pilot program applicable in only 4 counties (of which San Diego was not one) mandating that an ignition interlock device (IID) be installed in a vehicle whenever the driver was convicted of a DUI. An IID requires that the driver pass a breathalyzer test each time the vehicle is started and includes random tests while the car is in motion. 

Effective January 1, 2019, SB 1046 requires an IID for all multiple DUI offenders statewide, and even first-time DUI offenders where there was an accident involving an injury. Such cases now mandate an IID be installed, at the cost of the defendant, in every car they own or operate. Even where no injury occurs, a judge maintains the discretion to order an IID for AT LEAST 6 months.

Note: the law applies to alcohol and the combined use of alcohol and drugs; it is not applicable in drug-only cases.

Police Transparency in Use-of-Force Cases

Another 2019 enacted California law prohibits law enforcement from denying the public access to certain police information. One of these, SB 1421 , allows public access to police records in use-of-force cases and to investigations confirming work-related police sexual misconduct or dishonesty. Yet another law requires police body camera footage be released within 45 days of a police shooting causing death or serious bodily harm.

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