Florida’s Ignition Interlock Device Laws Explained

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Florida’s Ignition Interlock Device Laws Explained

man drinking beer while driving car

If you’re caught driving under the influence in Florida, you could be facing strict penalties. While you might be aware of fines, jail time, and lengthy community service commonly associated with a conviction for this offense, many drivers are surprised to find out that they could face additional punishments beyond these already harsh consequences.

In some situations, you might be ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. While such gadgets are common throughout the country, you might not be aware of exactly how they work and the implications this penalty can have.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how these devices work and discuss some of the situations wherein you might be required to install an IID in your car:

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Typically, you can get into your vehicle, turn the key, and set off on the open road. However, with one of these devices installed in your car, you will first have to pass a breathalyzer test before you can start your car.

These devices are outfitted with a tube much like those found on breath test devices used by authorities. You will have to blow into the device which will analyze your blood-alcohol levels. If you test over the legal limit, your vehicle will be disarmed, and you will not be able to drive.

There are many situations wherein you might be required to complete this test repeatedly throughout your journey. As these tests can happen at random, you will be forced to pull over within a reasonable time limit to blow into the device. More advanced versions of ignition interlock devices are even equipped with a small camera which is used to make sure that someone else isn’t completing the test on your behalf.

According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such devices are an effective method for curbing drunk driving, reducing the chances of repeat violations by as much as 70%. Keep in mind that you will probably have to pay for both the device and the cost of installing it—an expense that could set you back more than $200.

Will I Always Have to Install an IID after a DUI Conviction?

No. This penalty is reserved for specific scenarios. Let’s look at a few situations wherein you might have to install this device:

  • First Offense: You will only need to purchase and install an IID if the court decides this penalty is necessary. However, there are a few so-called “aggravating” factors that could turn this optional penalty into a mandatory punishment. For instance, if your blood-alcohol level exceeds 0.15%, there’s a high chance that a judge might order you to install an IID in your car for six months or more.
  • Second Offense: Depending on the nature of your offense, you may have to keep this device in your vehicle for up to two years.
  • Third Offense: A minimum of two years.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Offense: At least five years.

This device doesn’t just present a daily headache for commuters but—due to the steep costs associated with installing an IID—can also put immense strain on your finances. Fortunately, you will have an opportunity to fight the charges and have your penalties reduced, potentially helping you avoid the frustrations associated with this harsh punishment.

Reach Out to a DUI Lawyer in Port St. Lucie, Florida Today

If you were arrested for drunk driving, turn to attorney Todd A. Kawecki for help. As a seasoned DUI lawyer, he knows what it takes to prevail in even the most complex cases, arming him with the knowledge, resources, and expertise to help you achieve a favorable outcome.

Not only may he be able to help you negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution, but he could also find evidence to dismantle the case against you and have the charges dropped. Dial 772-485-4500 or jump to our contact page HERE to lock in a free case review with a Florida DUI lawyer today.

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