DUI Ignition Interlock Device

March 22, 2017 Drunk Driving/DUI

florida dui lawyer

Driving under the influence (DUI) offenses are taken very seriously in Florida. A DUI conviction can lead to serious consequences such as paying fines, jail time, license suspension, or all three. In Florida, defendants convicted of a DUI may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

This page will define an ignition interlock device and explain its use, who is required to use them, and the importance of finding legal representation to fight the DUI charges against you.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a device that is installed in a vehicle to prevent a person from driving if they have consumed alcohol. The IID is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system and requires the driver to blow into the device before starting the vehicle.

The IID measures the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) using a breathalyzer before allowing the vehicle to start. If the driver’s BAC is above a pre-set limit, usually 0.02%, the vehicle will not start. However, if the driver’s BAC is below the pre-set limit, the vehicle will start as usual.

IIDs are typically used as a part of a court-ordered requirement for individuals who have been convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence) offense in Florida. The device is designed to prevent intoxicated individuals from driving while under the influence and aims to be an effective way to reduce repeat DUI offenses.

Who is Required to Use an Ignition Interlock?

Installation of an ignition interlock device is not required for every DUI offense in Florida. Typically, the court will decide which defendants are required to install the IID into their vehicle(s). The length of the IID’s installation in the convicted person’s vehicle(s) will vary depending on their criminal history and whether the DUI offense is a first or subsequent offense.

Length of Installation for Ignition Interlock

Under Florida Statute Section 316.193, a person is required to install an ignition interlock device for certain DUI convictions, such as follows:

  • First DUI Conviction – If the court ordered
  • First DUI Conviction with BAC at 0.15 or higher, or with a minor in the vehicle – For at least 6 months
  • Second DUI Conviction – For at least 1 year
  • Second DUI Conviction with BAC at 0.15 or higher, or with a minor in the vehicle – For at least 2 years
  • Third DUI Conviction – For at least 2 years
  • Fourth or subsequent DUI conviction – For at least 5 years

Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device Installation

It is important to note that Florida law requires the driver, or convicted person, to bear the cost of the IID installation. In addition, the driver must also pay for the maintenance of the IID.

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), if the court determines that a convicted person is unable to pay for the installation of an IID, the court may order a portion of the fine get allocated to pay for the cost of installation.

The price of an IID can range from $50 to $150 for the cost of the device, installation, and calibration. The IID chosen by the defendant must meet the requirements provided in 15A-9.007, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Standards, along with Florida Statute Section 316.1938. Some approved providers by FLHSMV include Low Cost Interlock, Inc, LifeSafer, and Alcohol Detection Systems (ADS).

To view FLHSMV’s full list of approved IID service providers, read here.

Are There Any Exemptions?

Florida Statute Section 316.1937(7) states that an exemption to using an IID is for any person who is required to operate a vehicle for their job. Any person who must operate a vehicle in the course or scope of their employment that is owned or leased by the employer can operate such vehicle without the installation of an IID. However, there must be proof of the notification with the employer and the vehicle. This exemption, however, does not apply if the employer or business entity which owns the vehicle is owned or controlled by the person who had their driving privileges revoked due to a DUI offense.

Penalties for DUI in Florida

When a driver is accused of a DUI offense in Florida, there are multiple penalties that can result from a conviction. The defendant may be required to pay a high-cost fine, get sentenced to an extended period of imprisonment, or both. In addition, the driver may be required to pay for the installation of an IID for anywhere between six months to five years.

Even for a first-time DUI offense where no victims were injured, the defendant may be required to pay thousands of dollars for fines and penalties. In some cases, the court can order the driver’s license to be suspended for anywhere between six months up to one year. Without a valid license, the convicted person may have difficulties going to work, running errands, driving children to and from school, and doing other daily activities which require a vehicle.

Whether people were celebrating victories or wallowing in bitter defeats of their favorite sports team, socializing with friends, or simply grabbing a drink after work, arrests for alleged drunk driving can turn fun into months of incredible stress. Convictions can result in serious penalties, even if it is your first criminal offense. When it comes to DUI offenses, the penalties are too severe to take on yourself. Your best shot at fighting your charges is to work with an experienced DUI attorney in your area.

Importance of DUI Legal Representation

While there may be collateral safety attached to shooting the locks off the Legislature’s wallet, some argue that the real reason for the device is financial. Specifically, that IID manufacturers are pushing a product to make money on DUI’s, not preventing DUI’s. Legal representation for a DUI offense in Florida is imperative. Below lists several reasons why you should work with a defense attorney for your DUI case:

  • Better understanding of the law – A defense attorney can help you better understand the complex (and sometimes confusing) aspects of the law, including the charges against you, potential penalties, and possible defenses to fight your case.
  • Protection of rights – A skilled defense attorney will prioritize protecting your rights and ensure that law enforcement has followed the proper procedures in the case.
  • Negotiations with Prosecutors – A defense attorney will work with prosecutors to negotiate plea bargains, reduced charges, or the possibility of dismissing the case completely. Negotiations can help minimize the penalties a defendant may face.
  • Minimize penalties – Conviction for a DUI offense carries extensive penalties. By working with a skilled DUI attorney, they can help minimize the penalties and possibly help you avoid a conviction.
  • Protecting your future – DUI convictions carry long-lasting consequences. You may be forced to pay expensive fines, serve in prison, install an IID, or have your license suspended. These consequences can impact your professional and personal life. A skilled DUI defense attorney will help to minimize the penalties and work to protect your future.

Finding legal representation for a DUI offense in Florida is crucial for your case. An experienced DUI attorney will ensure your rights are protected, and that you have the best possible outcome in your case.

Finding a DUI Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one wish to pursue Florida DUI Expungement, please contact our attorneys today!

To avoid costly fines, having your driving privileges suspended, and the possibility of time incarcerated, you need the assistance of an experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney with experience litigating DUI offenses.

Don Pumphrey and his team of attorneys have years of experience representing clients accused of DUI offenses throughout various areas of Florida, including Leon County and Jefferson County. We understand the nuances of the law and will make fighting your case our top priority. To receive a free consultation regarding your DUI case, contact Pumphrey Law Firm today at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Updated on April 24, 2023

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