What is an ignition interlock device?
With more and more penalties being placed on those convicted of driving under the influence, Florida law mandates that some drivers install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.
An ignition interlock is a device similar to a breathalyzer that is installed in a car. Before the car can be started by a driver, they must blow into the device and have their blood alcohol content recorded. If their BAC is over a 0.025 reading, the engine will not start and the driver will be unable to drive their vehicle.
Ignition interlock devices were a key part of a campaign by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a group dedicated to preventing driving under the influence, stopping underage drinking, and promoting strict and harsh alcohol policies nationwide. As a result of their efforts, every state in the country, including Florida, offers the installation of ignition interlock devices as a punishment for DUI.
Not only is an ignition interlock device extremely invasive for a driver, but it is costly to install and maintain. When a driver's BAC surpasses the limit allowed by law, the driver may face additional criminal charges as a result.
Can an ignition interlock device be installed on my car?
Not every driver convicted of DUI in Florida will need to install an ignition interlock device, but many who seek a restricted driver's license to get to school or work will need to have one.
Florida law mandates an ignition interlock device for:
- First conviction- only if court ordered
- First conviction over 0.15- at least 6 months
- Second conviction- at least 1 year
- Second conviction over 0.15- at least 2 years
- Third conviction- at least 2 years
- Four or more convictions- minimum of 5 years
There are a few requirements for the device to be installed on any vehicle. It must use fuel cell technology, be equipped with a rolling retest that can be used when the car is still running, completely funded by the person using the device, and must be capable of recording and storing visual evidence of use. Further, evidence from this device must be able to be collected 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
When you have been arrested for driving under the influence, the case against you starts right away. Reduce your chances of having to install an ignition interlock device on your car by working with a DUI defense attorney immediately.