Florida Legislature Tinkers with Refusals and Ignition Interlock Devices

By Jonathan Blecher on March 6, 2023

The Florida Legislature, motto: “We never saw a due process right we wouldn’t trample on”, has proposed legislation which would require the installation of an ignition interlock device immediately after a driver refuses to submit to a breath test. HB197/SB296 read, in pertinent part:

“The person shall be told that his or her failure to submit to any lawful test of his or her breath will, for a first refusal, result in the suspension of the person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle for 1 year and placement for 1 year, at the person’s  expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the person…”

The bizarre legislative analysis is replete with inaccurate information and due process violations. The bill fails to recognize that, after a DUI arrest and either refusal or breath over .08, a driver can request a formal review of the administrative suspension within 10 days- not wait 90 days, as the analysis points out. Additionally, while the driver waits for a due process hearing to review the legality of the suspension, FLHSMV will issue a temporary driving permit. The driver may, within this same 10 day period, choose to waive this formal review process and immediately obtain a business purposes only permit for the suspension period after enrollment in a DUI school. The bill appears to impose the IID requirement immediately and bypass due process. What if the refusal was not a refusal, a typo, or improperly obtained, or without probable cause for the arrest?

Learn more about Ignition Interlock Devices in Florida by clicking this LINK.

Learn more about current Florida Administrative Suspension Law by clicking this LINK.

If you have any concerns about your rights or the legal process, contact us. We’ll be happy to talk with you about your case.

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