When Jerry Brown signed SB 1046 into law, which became effective from January 1, 2019 through at least January 1, 2026, he created a sweeping change to California’s DUI laws.  Prior to this year, drivers convicted or found in violation by the DMV of violating DUI laws were required to suffer through a “hard” suspension period that would range between a minimum of a 30 day suspension to a maximum of a 3 year license revocation, depending upon the exact charge, how many prior DUI’s you suffered within the past 10 years, and whether you were convicted and/or lost the DMV (“APS”) hearing.


SB 1046 changed the DUI laws by allowing drivers who lost their APS hearing to avoid the mandatory “hard” suspension period by installing a breath machine (“ignition interlock device: IID”) within the first 30 days after their arrest. In the pilot counties[1] where first offenders convicted of a DUI were all required to install an IID, the new law simply extends the pilot program, but also allows these drivers to install the IID early (before any court conviction), and thus be able to obtain an IID restricted license for 6 months without having to wait out a 30 day hard suspension.  Drivers will get credit on a court conviction-triggered IID restricted period if they install the machine after arrest but prior to a DUI conviction in court. In non-pilot counties, where first offense DUI violators were not required to install an IID prior to 2019, the new law requires them to do so if they want to avoid the hard suspension period. However, in the non-pilot counties, a first offense non-injury driver can also choose to suffer through the hard suspension period and then obtain a work restricted license for 12 month.  Thus, in the non-pilot counties, a driver can decide if it is better to install the IID and avoid the hard suspension, or forego the IID and get a work restricted license after sitting out the mandatory minimum hard suspension period. This option of foregoing the IID only applies to first offense non-injury DUIs in non-pilot counties.

Senate Bill 1046 requires ALL drivers who committed a DUI with injury (even if a first offense), and those who are found in violation of a second, third or multiple DUI, to install an interlock device in their vehicle for a period ranging between one and 4 years.

All judges, however, can still order a defendant convicted of a non-injury first offense DUI in a non-pilot county to install an IID breath device for up to six months even though the DMV offers an alternative 12 month work restricted license period to first offender non-injury DUI drivers in the non-pilot counties (after sitting out the hard suspension period if the APS hearing is lost).  

These IID restricted licenses are much better for most drivers than a work restricted license because you can drive anywhere at any time as long as you are driving a vehicle with a properly installed IID.  The IID only applies to those found in violation of violating an alcohol only or alcohol and drug DUI statute, but does not apply to drug only DUI violations. 


Commencing on January 1, 2019, all people convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) must install and properly maintain an IID on their vehicle.

  • SB 1046 expands the current pilot program (in the 4 pilot counties) statewide with a few changes:
  • On a 1st DUI violation with no injury: offender chooses 6-month IID restricted license with full driving privileges or a 1-year work restricted license that only permits the driver to drive to and from work and to and from his or her DUI class. (However, in the four pilot counties, the work restricted option with no IID is NOT available to drivers.)
  • On a 1st Offense DUI violation with injury: Offender must install and maintain an IID for six months.
  • On a 2nd offense DUI violation (within 10 years of a previous DUI): The offender must install and maintain an IID for one year.
  • On a 3rd offense DUI violation (within 10 years of two previous DUIs): The offender must install and maintain an IID for two years.
  • On a 4th offense DUI violation (within 10 years of three previous DUIs): The offender must install and maintain an IID for three years.
  • SB 1046 also implements an incentive program for drivers to install an IID after arrest and prior to a conviction by rewarding drivers with a full privilege license after they install the Ignition Interlock Device, thus avoiding a “hard,” no-driving suspension period.

As before, the DMV will not grant you the IID license without submitting proof of enrollment in a DUI class, SR22 insurance and payment of a fee (usually $125).

The law is complicated, and the IID restricted license periods vary depending upon the charge and whether you suffered a first offense or multiple offense DUI violation.  If you have questions about your case and how the new 2019 laws will affect you, contact me, attorney Ann Gottesman for a free consultation.

At the Law Office of Ann Gottesman you will receive personal attention.  Ms. Gottesman is an experienced and compassionate advocate for her clients. Call to speak to Ann personally and request a free and confidential initial consultation.

Pilot counties include Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties.