Tulare County Seeks To Extend IID Pilot Program

In 2010 the California Legislature decided to launch a pilot program requiring first offenders convicted of a DUI to obtain an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle for a minimum period of five months.  The program applied to only four counties in California; Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare County.

According to an article on ABC 30’s website, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors would like to see that program extended for a longer period of time. the program is due to end in 2016.  The American beverage Institute opposes the law in general pointing to the fact that the overwhelming number of DUI related fatalities are from multiple offenders with high Blood Alcohol Levels.

For those that do get convicted of a Driving Under the Influence in one of those four counties, they can expect to have to install the breathalyzer in their vehicle for a minimum period of five months. The cost is generally around $50-$150 a month. An IID must be installed in your vehicle if you wish to obtain a restricted drivers license. The restricted drivers license allows you to drive anywhere at anytime, as long as the vehicle is equipped with the breathalyzer device. This can actually be an advantage for certain people in those four counties, since the normal restricted drivers license only allows for to/from/during work, and to/from the DUI court ordered classes. With the IID, you can drive to pick up your kids or groceries without violating the conditions of your restricted drivers license. According to Sacramento DUI Attorney Michael Rehm, many of his clients prefer to have a restricted drivers license that allows for greater flexibility, but many resent the additional cost and the many problems that have been associated with the installation and maintenance of the machine.

Criminal Defendants Have Right To Investigate Victims Homes

According to an article in the Denver Post, a Colorado court has ruled to criminal defendants have the right to examine the homes of the victims in the crimes. The Defense would presumably have to be able to show that the search of the homes would provide potential evidence that is ““relevant, material and necessary to his defense.”

Courts in California, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey have come to similar conclusions. The Court reasoned that the defendants right to a fair trial supersedes the privacy interests of the victim. The reasoning seems to be that the defense has a right to inspect the crime scene to determine independently what occurred, whether the initial investigation was sloppy, or whether there are other possible explanations for the crime than the one that the government is promoting.

The notion of the Defense exploring the crime scene is not a new one, however Victims Rights Advocates were uncomfortable applying this notion to the victims private dwellings.