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DUI Convictions and Ignition Interlock Devices

DUI Convictions and Ignition Interlock Devices

Posted By Posted By Parks & Braxton, PA || 23-Jul-2013

Throughout the nation, states and jurisdictions have devised new ways to punish motorists who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. A tactic that is gaining increasing popularity across the country is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in a convicted individual's vehicle.

Essentially, an ignition interlock device is a mechanism that functions like a breathalyzer and is attached to the ignition of a motor vehicle. In order to start the vehicle, a driver must first blow into the IID and provide a breath sample. If any amount of alcohol is detected – or if a certain blood alcohol concentration limit is exceeded – then the IID will prevent the vehicle from starting. The violation may also be recorded and used by courts or probation officers when determining disciplinary actions.

In addition to blowing into the ignition interlock device prior to starting a vehicle, drivers will also be required to blow into the IID periodically as the engine is running. This is designed to reduce the possibility that other individuals blow into the IID for the driver or instances where a driver starts their vehicle and then consumes alcohol.

Florida DUI Laws & IIDs

As Florida has joined in the national trend of harshly punishing individuals convicted of DUI, the state has adopted the use of ignition interlock devices. Under § 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, Florida requires certain people convicted of DUI to install an IID on their vehicle. The IID program affects individuals convicted of driving under the influence after July 1, 2002 once they have served the terms of their driver's license suspension and are eligible for reinstatement of a permanent or restricted driver's license.

Under Florida law, certain individuals will be required to have an IID installed on their vehicle. Courts will base these requirements and the term an IID is to be installed on the circumstances involved in a case, especially prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years. The following is a general overview of IID requirements. These terms and restrictions can vary from case to case.

  • First DUI Conviction – only if required by court
  • First DUI Conviction (BAC .015 or higher / minor in car) – at least six months
  • Second DUI Conviction – at least one year
  • Second DUI Conviction (BAC .015 or higher / minor in car) – at least two years
  • Third DUI Conviction – at least two years
  • Four or More Convictions – at least five years

When a driver is eligible for the ignition interlock program, they will be issued a driver's license with a "P" restriction – a mark that informs law enforcement officers of the requirement to have an IID on your vehicle. Driving a vehicle without an IID can subject one to additional criminal penalties or driver's license repercussions.

It is also important to note that ignition interlock devices can create considerable costs for convicted individuals. At times when hefty court fines and other expenses associated with a DUI may be creating financial strains, IIDs can be pose further burdens. Ignition interlock devices are leased and maintained by two third party vendors that were selected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These vendors typically charge installation fees, removal fees, and monthly calibration fees that commonly average $75 a month. Other insurance fees and interlock fees may apply in some situations. In certain cases, individuals who have financial hardships may be able to obtain exemptions.

If you or your loved one has recently been charged with driving under the influence, the numerous penalties and repercussions in place should prompt you into seeking experienced legal representation as soon as possible. At Parks & Braxton, PA, our Palm Beach DUI attorneys guide clients through each stage of their legal journeys, including criminal cases and driver's license proceedings. For more information about ignition interlock devices, the charges and penalties you are facing, or the ways in which our firm can help, contact Parks & Braxton, PA.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI

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