Florida’s Ignition Interlock Program: How It Could Affect You
A DUI conviction in Florida can have personal, financial and legal consequences that can significantly impact your life. Losing your license not only presents a major obstacle to holding down a job, but also can hinder your ability to do the things you love. Unfortunately, even after you have recovered your license, the state may require you to install what is called an ignition interlock device in your car.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device will not allow a driver to start or maintain movement of a vehicle if his blood alcohol level is too high. The driver blows into the device, similar to a Breathalyzer, prior to the car starting and again about every 30 minutes after the car has started.
In Florida, an authorized service center site will install the device for approximately $70. Monthly monitoring fees are approximately $67.50 after installation.
What Are the Ignition Interlock Device Requirements in Florida?
Anyone who is convicted of two or three DUIs and then seeks to have his license reinstated will be required to install an ignition interlock device in his automobile. A court may order one on the first conviction at its discretion.
The length of time the device will be required depends on the number of DUI offenses a driver has been convicted of and the blood alcohol concentration at the time of his offenses. First time offenders with a .15 or higher blood alcohol level will be required to have the device for up to six months; second time offenders may get it for at least one year and third time offenders must have the device at least two years.
Protecting DUI Suspects' Rights
Florida residents should be aware that devices like these and traditional Breathalyzers have been under increasing scrutiny in recent years and questions linger over the accuracy of some Breathalyzer models in particular. Individuals facing drunk driving and related charges should consider contacting a DUI attorney, within the 10-day window from the date of arrest if possible, to ensure that the driver's license can be fought and to protect their legal rights.