Mandatory IID Installation in FL Would Save Lives, Says MADD
Drunk driving deaths in West Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, and New Mexico have significantly decreased after ignition interlock devices were required for all DUI offenders. Florida may be next.
Currently, a first-time DUI conviction with no aggravating factors in Florida does not require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID), but Florida’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is working to change that. If their efforts are successful, all first-time DUI offenders in Florida would have to get an IID installed in their vehicles.
If you don’t already know, an ignition interlock device is like a mobile breathalyzer test that requires drivers to breathe into the machine to measure their BAC. If they “pass,” the driver may start their vehicle. If they “fail,” meaning their BAC exceeds the allowable limit, then a driver’s vehicle will not start.
So far, 32 states and the District of Columbia require first-time DUI offenders to install an IID in their vehicle regardless of their BAC levels at the time of their incidents. The states include:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- Washington DC
Under Florida’s current DUI laws, a first-time DUI offender with a BAC of 0.14 or below does not need an IID installation unless a judge orders otherwise. If a first-time offender had a BAC of 0.15 or more or had a minor in the vehicle at the time of their DUI offense, however, the offender will have to have an IID installed for at least 6 months. Multiple DUI convictions, on the other hand, are punishable by a mandatory IID for 1 to 5 years in Florida.
Why is MADD trying to pass legislation requiring mandatory IID installation for first-time DUI offenders? If you take a look at the numbers below, you’ll see that ignition interlock devices help stop drunk drivers from getting on the roads.
- IIDs have stopped nearly 2.5 million people from driving drunk since 2006
- IID laws have reduced fatal drunk driving offenses by an average of 16%
- Ignition interlock devices are effective in reducing repeat drunk driving offenses by 67% (CDC)
- First-time offenders have driven drunk at least 80 times before they are arrested (CDC)
- 3 out of 4 people with a suspended license continue to drive
- You share the roadways with more than 2 million drunk drivers with 3 or more prior convictions
- An ignition interlock is more effective than driver’s license suspension alone, as 50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license
- All-offender interlock laws save lives reducing drunk driving deaths by 7, 12, and 15% (McGinty, 2017. IIHS, 2012. Kaufmann, 2016.)
Should MADD be successful in its efforts to require IID installation for first-time DUI offenders, Florida could see a dramatic drop in fatalities and injuries from drunk drivers. Not to mention, MADD’s proposal would directly impact the legal penalties for convicted DUI offenders in Florida. With this in mind, I urge you to reach out to my firm at 786-785-2035 if you are accused of DUI. Like with all of my clients, I will fight tirelessly to help get your charges reduced or dismissed!