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Ignition interlock devices explained

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | DUI/DWI |

When someone faces a conviction for driving under the influence, they may face severe penalties. Fines and even jail time are not uncommon. Many Florida residents could see their driving privileges revoked. Requirements to use an ignition interlock device may be mandatory. Those unfamiliar with how an ignition interlock device works might require clarification about what it does.

Ignition interlock devices

An ignition interlock (IID) device is a breathalyzer system that connects to a car’s ignition. This electronic device integrates with an engine’s ignition, and anyone who tries to start the vehicle must blow into the unit. If the interlock device detects alcohol on someone’s breath, the car will not start. The device could save lives by keeping an intoxicated person from starting their vehicle.

An ignition interlock device in Florida is possible with a first DUI conviction. The device will become mandatory on a first conviction when someone is convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 — nearly double the legal threshold of 0.08 — or if there is a minor in the vehicle. The person must use the IID for six months. The duration increases with future convictions.

Legal issues and ignition interlock devices

Attempts to circumvent ignition interlock device requirements after a DUI conviction may prove unwise. Some may have someone else breathe into the device or use another vehicle that does not have an IID. If the police pull a car over, the court may discover the driver’s violation of their sentencing.

Those facing penalties for a DUI may request leniency at sentencing. The judge has the discretion to impose the maximum or minimum penalty. The judge’s decision would likely depend on the circumstances of the offense.