How to Expunge DUI in California

If you were convicted of a DUI in the state of California, you may have the opportunity to expunge that from your record. DUIs can be difficult to move forward from because as long as it remains on your record it may be difficult for you to find employment, or you may be fired from your current job because of your new record. DUI expungement is an option in the state of California and we’ll tell you how you can take care of it.

Expungement is the official legal term for sealing conviction and arrest records. It removes the visibility of records and allows a person to honestly respond ‘no’ when asked if they’ve ever been committed of a crime. Each state has their own laws about expungement and what crimes can and cannot be removed from records. Certain charges may or may not be eligible, depending on your state.

If you are looking to get a DUI expunged from your record, your first step is filing a petition with the court. You’ll need to obtain all of the court documents pertaining to your case. You want to make sure you include all of the requested information, and pay the court fees. A copy of your petition will need to also be delivered to the prosecutor, and can be delivered by any adult, over 18 years of age, that is not yourself. The individual who delivers the petition must also fill out a ‘Proof of Service’ form that will be attached to the copy of the petition filed with the court. The copy can also be mailed to the prosecutor.

Before you can expunge the DUI you must complete your probation. In order to complete your probation you must pay a fine, incur a license suspension, complete an alcohol education program. In the state of California you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device. With the ignition interlock device you will have to breathe into the device before you are allowed to start your car. You will also be required to breathe into the ignition interlock device throughout your drive. Ignition interlock devices have been proven to lower the number of repeat offenders by disabling the ability to drive drunk because of the ignition interlock device.

An ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle will go a long way towards getting your DUI expunged from your record. The ignition interlock device will prevent you from being able to drive drunk, but will also provide you with a clean driving record, as long as you never attempt to drive after drinking. The DUI offender is responsible for any and all positive tests that appear on the ignition interlock.

After completing your probation, and all other parts of your sentencing the court will set a date for the judge to review your petition. DUI expungement in California is just like any other criminal expungement. Your case will be reviewed by a judge and if the judge grants your request you will be allowed to enter a new plea, and your guilty plea will be thrown out. You should know that while it will be removed from your record, it does not mean that is wiped clean. Employer’s may still be able to find it, and you would need to disclose the expunged DUI if asked pointed questions in applying for state licenses or public office.

Each expungement is different and can take a different amount of time. The average process takes 90 to 120 days, and your individual circumstances will affect the length of time it takes, but you can get the process moving quickest by following the terms of your probation, getting an ignition interlock device, and not getting another DUI.

Congratulations In Order For Michigan’s Sobriety Court

Last week , a press conference was held in Lansing, Michigan at the State Capitol, where the results of the third year of a five-year study of Michigan’s DWI/Sobriety Courts / Ignition Interlock program were released.  Michigan’s sobriety court started the Ignition Interlock Initiative four years ago. This program allows repeat DWI offenders to keep their license while they are undergoing sobriety rehabilitation.

Judge Harvey Hoffman, 56th Judicial District, Eaton County has been primarily responsible for advocating for DWI/Sobriety court legislation, the use of Photo Identification Camera device Ignition interlocks and providing for a study of the results.

Dr. Christopher A. Kierkus and Dr. Brian R. Johnson from Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, were the authors of the study and available to discuss their research results.  The project was funded by the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals.

The findings indicate that offenders who were in Michigan’s Sobriety Court and had Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) on their vehicles had fewer instances of DWI recidivism or other crimes and fewer relapses into using alcohol and controlled substances than repeat offenders who did not have IIDs.

The success of the program stems from a reward system that allows offenders to continue driving, as long as they are sober.  Floyd Brandt is a graduate of Michigan’s sobriety court’s treatment program. Two years of hard work through the program helped him recover from his 3 DUI offenses and to, “see what I was doing, give myself some time, let the chemicals, the drugs get out of my system. And look back and see what kind of destruction I was doing to my life,” said Brandt.

The success of the program stems from a reward system that allows offenders to continue driving, as long as they are sober.  And for a construction worker like Brandt who has to drive more than 40,000 miles each year,”the license is huge. I really appreciate these people, the senate and the congress to try to get our driver’s license back.”

Allowing offenders access to cars acts as a powerful incentive, in fact, so powerful that those with the initiative are 1.5 times more likely to successfully completely the program.

“They are motivated to have their licenses and also I think it’s somewhat easy for them to complete the program because they have their license to go to court, go to treatment, they can go to testing and so on,” said Judge Harvey Hoffman, 56th Judicial District, Eaton County.

As a proud graduate of the program, Brandt says, “it has direction. It has direction in forcing people to not drink and drive,”

Due to the success of the program, it will be expanding to all 30 sobriety courts in the state.

Under laws like the one that took effect in Michigan in January 2011, and expanded in December 2013, DWI/Sobriety Court judges can order repeat DWI offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle; these devices require an individual to blow into their ignition interlock, which measures whether the person has alcohol, if the device detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

Debra Coffey, Vice President of Government Affairs, with Smart Start Ignition Interlock was on hand at the state capitol in Lansing to congratulate and thank Judge Harvey Hoffman, the Michigan Sobriety Court Judges and the Michigan Legislature for their leadership and courage to make the roads safer in Michigan and save lives.

Michigan DWI Sobriety Court Ignition Interlock Evaluation 2014 Report

Get back on the road!


An ignition interlock device is a breath testing instrument that is attached to a vehicle to prevent driving while intoxicated. Smart Start interlock ignition devices are designed to blend into the steering panel of your car, so they do not stand out or draw unnecessary attention. Our interlock ignition devices are about the size of a mobile phone. The unit is connected to your vehicle ignition system. Once the unit is attached, you simply exhale into the ignition interlock device to offer a breath sample whenever you plan on driving. The car breathalyzer will measure your breath alcohol level (BrAC) to ensure that it is below 0.05%. If you are within the acceptable range, your car will start and you can continue on your way. If you are above the limit, your car will not start. You can try again later when you are in a safer BrAC range. It’s like having a best friend looking out for you whenever you drive!

Interlock ignition devices continue to monitor your safety on the road as well. Once you are driving, your ignition interlock device will periodically ask for breathe samples to ensure that you are still below the BrAC limit. This is called a “rolling test.” You are given a few minutes to perform the test, so it will not interfere with your safety on the road. You can breathe into the interlock ignition device while you are driving without even taking your eyes off the road, or just pull over in a safe place. The test takes less than a minute. Rolling tests can not cause your engine to shut down but they will record a fail in your device’s computer system if you are above the limit.

Smart Start of Oregon is the Smart Choice

Smart Start of Oregon understands that getting a DWI can be a devastating and deeply emotional time. We work with people in your situation every day. Our friendly and informative professionals are here to help you move forward with your future as a safe driver. We have the tools and the knowledge to ensure that you stay in compliance with Oregon State driving laws every time you get behind the wheel.

Local. Easy. Affordable. – Smart Start of Oregon


Smart Start of Oregon has the most locations, has the lowest cost and is the most dependable!  Here is an overview of what you can expect:

  • Locate a Smart Start Ignition Interlock service center in Oregon.
  • Be prepared for your installation appointment. Gather any paperwork specific to your Oregon Ignition Interlock Device needs, picture ID, and proof of address.
  • Expect an hour for installation of the Device. Our certified technicians will train you on how to properly use the Smart Start of Oregon Ignition Interlock Device.
  • During installation, we will train you in how to use the Device, its service requirements, and what to do if you have any problems or questions.
  • Sign your contract, make your first monthly payment, and set up your next appointment.
  • Continue to visit us for more information and updates!

If you are ready to move on with your life, we are here to help. Our friendly representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and arrange an installation. Call us at (888) 368-2889 or arrange an appointment today!

National leader in Ignition Interlock


  • Locations Throughout Oregon! Find Now*
  • Leading Edge – Less Hassle!
  • Bilingual Support!
  • Compare Interlock Companies and Costs Carefully!

Choosing The Right Ignition Interlock Provider

Choosing the right ignition interlock provider is crucial. While ignition interlock devices are simple to use, incorrect selection of an ignition interlock provider can have long reaching implications. Individuals mandated to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicles have often already encountered significant costs related to legal fees, time from work, court time, etc.  Given this, it is extremely important to know how to select the right ignition interlock provider.

There are a number of factors that should weigh into IID provider and product selection if the user wants a positive, uneventful experience.  The provider, at minimum, should have:

  • A high number of installation locations that are conveniently located across the U.S. that provide quick installation with properly trained personnel so the user can quickly get back on the road,
  • Competitive pricing – some providers have hidden fees that cannot be determined until you are at their installation location (always ask for a fee schedule up front),
  • A Customer Care Center that can quickly respond to any questions that might arise,
  • Have been in business over 20 years and have a reliable, proven product,
  • Training at the installation location so that the user does not have to spend any unnecessary time at the facility,
  • Access to state requirements that can be easily communicated,
  • An advanced technology product that uses fuel cell technology to ensure reading accuracy and reliability,

Smart Start, Incorporated is the number one provider of quick, effective service with a product that is unsurpassed within the industry.  We have 1200+ locations throughout the U.S., have no contracts, have a competitive fee schedule and are always ready to address customer needs.

NHTSA Releases Ignition Interlock Toolkit For Policymakers

NHTSA releases ignition interlock toolkit for Policymakers. This is the second addition of a Toolkit for Policymakers, Highway Safety Professionals and Advocates,”Ignition Interlocks – What you Need to Know”.  The toolkit is designed to provide basic information regarding ignition interlocks bringing together resources that explain and support the use of ignition interlock in the United States.

This document should be shared with interlock program administrators and policy makers, as these stakeholders design and implement interlock programs in their states.  This kit will guide them through the development of the technology, research, program implementation, vendor selection and management and program costs.

In addition, it features some answers to frequently asked questions and provides a status of State interlock programs.  Ignition Interlocks have been used to prevent impaired driving in the United States for more than 20 years.  This toolkit is designed to advance the understanding of the technology, improving its application as an effective strategy to save lives and prevent impaired driving injuries and crashes.

President Announces Re-authorization Transportation Plan

President announces re-authorization transportation plan. Last month, President Obama outlined a four-year, $302-billion transportation plan. The current transportation law does not expire until the end of September, but lawmakers have begun working on a re-authorization plan. The Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturer’s will join efforts with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other traffic safety advocates to work this effort on the Hill.

To be sure, passing a major transportation bill through a divided Congress who is averse to big, costly legislation has been a considerable challenge in recent years, with a majority of the legislation focusing on highways, public transit, bridges and other transportation issues.

Our goal will be to work with members of congress to address language in the U.S. transportation code, to include language that allows drunk driving offenders to drive unsanctioned and as quickly as possible while interlock equipped. There currently are too many obstacles and restrictions in place for states to qualify for highway incentive grant funds. Flexibility in these states interlock laws will improve efficiency and safety, allowing states to implement ignition interlock laws, saving costs and resulting in safer communities and roadways.

Researchers have found that after ignition interlock devices were installed, re-arrest rates for alcohol-impaired driving by those with suspended licenses decreased by a median of 67 percent.

MADD supports immediate reinstatement of driving privileges for drunk drivers providing the offender uses an ignition interlock. An interlock is more effective than license suspension alone, as 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.1

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), interlocks are effective in saving lives and reducing drunken driving repeat offenses by 67 percent. Specifically, all offender interlock laws, when implemented well, are found to reduce repeat offenses significantly.2

 1 Nichols, James, and H. Lawrence Ross. “The Effectiveness of Legal Sanctions in Dealing with Drinking Drivers.” Alcohol, Drugs and Driving 6(2) (1990): 3355. and Peck, Raymond, R. Jean Wilson, and Lawrence Sutton. “Driver License Strategies for Controlling the Persistent DUI Offender,” Strategies for Dealing with the Persistent Drinking Driver. Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Circular No. 437. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council, 1999.

2 McCartt, Anne, et al. “Washington State’s Alcohol Ignition Interlock Law: Effects on Recidivism Among First-Time DUI Offenders.” March 2012.

Increase in Use of Ignition Interlocks

According to a new survey conducted by Impact DWI, Inc., there are nearly 305,000 ignition interlock devices currently installed in the U.S.  This demonstrates that usage of interlocks has increased at a rate of 30,000 units installed per year over the past eight years, while the number of drunk driving fatalities has been decreasing during the same time period.

The findings of this survey validate the success of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, which calls for the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) .08 or greater.

States with well-implemented ignition interlock laws have seen significant reductions in drunk driving deaths.  Most recently in Kansas, drunk driving deaths have dropped by 31 percent, due in part to their all-offender interlock law implemented in 2011.

MADD’s Campaign has been a strong voice for expanding the use of ignition interlocks to all convicted drunk drivers, and lawmakers are seeing that interlocks are a more effective approach to protect the public.  Prior to 2006, the recommended approach in dealing with a drunk driver was license suspension without driving privileges or limited work- or time-restricted driving privileges.  Since the launch of MADD’s Campaign, advocates like AAA and the National Transportation Safety Board agree that the best practice is to require the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers for at least six months.

In 2006, just over 100,000 ignition interlocks were installed in the United States and only one state, New Mexico, required ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.  Today, the number of interlocks installed has more than tripled and 20 states currently require or highly incentivize the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.

This year, MADD’s legislative efforts proved successful with both Maine and Tennessee enacting all-offender ignition interlock laws. Additionally, MADD worked in New York to improve Leandra’s Law by closing loopholes to increase the use of installed ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers over the previous drunk driving law, which resulted in only one-third of convicted drunk drivers installing an interlock.

MADD calls on the 30 remaining states and DC to take action and enact an all-offender interlock laws. Find out if your state requires ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders and take action.

MADD also urges those states that have enacted all-offender interlock laws to fine-tune and close loopholes so all convicted drunk drivers must go an interlock for at least six months prior to regaining unrestricted driving privileges.

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Pa. Considers Ignition Interlocks for 1st-Time DUIs

A proposed DUI law would require ignition interlock devices even for first-time DUI offenders in Pennsylvania, making it the 21st state in the nation to do so.

Pennsylvania’s current law only requires ignition interlock devices for second-time (or subsequent) DUI convictions. Supporters of Senate Bill 1036 insist that requiring first-time DUI offenders to get the devices installed in their cars will help save lives, Harrisburg’s WHTM-TV reports.

What is an ignition interlock device, and what do others think about the bill?

Ignition Interlock Devices in Pennsylvania

Ignition interlock devices are instruments placed into one’s car that prevent a driver from operating a vehicle if the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath.

Once installed, the driver has to blow into the device every time he gets into his car. If the machine doesn’t detect any alcohol, the car will start. But if there’s any trace of alcohol detected on the driver’s breath, then the driver will likely have to wait a certain amount of time before trying again. In addition, the failed breath test can potentially be reported.

State laws vary when it comes to requiring an ignition interlock device for DUI convictions; the requirement may also vary by county. Regardless, it is an expensive addition to the cost of a DUI — typically, the offender has to pay for the device itself, along with installation and other fees.

Conflicting Opinions

Supporters of SB 1036 are say the heftier price for first-time DUI offenders is worth it. “This is insurance that an individual getting behind the wheel of a car is sober,” State Sen. John Rafferty, the bill’s sponsor, explained to WHTM-TV.

But there are opponents to imposing such a strict penalty on those who don’t have any prior DUIs or criminal convictions. One DUI attorney told WHTM he worried the proposed law fails to distinguish between a habitual drunk and “a person who drinks too much one time and [makes] a mistake.”

Many other states already impose this penalty on first-time offenders, though, and even the National Transportation Safety Board is pushing for all states to do so.


From Findlaw: