Myths About Ignition Interlock Devices in Florida
Like most Florida motorists, you’re probably well-aware of the serious punishment that you face if you’re arrested for drunk driving. A DUI conviction could lead to a jail term of up to six months, a fine ranging from $500 – $1,000, and many other sanctions depending on the circumstances. You may be less familiar with the law on ignition interlock systems in Florida and how it may apply in your case. In some situations, a court might order you to install technology on your car that prevents the engine from starting if there’s alcohol on your breath when you blow into it.
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about how the ignition interlock device (IID) works and the legal principles behind it. A Florida DUI defense attorney can clear up the details as they pertain to your situation, but some myth busting may also be useful.
MYTH: Only repeat offenders will be required to install ignition interlock technology.
It’s true that anyone with a prior DUI on their driving record will be ordered by the court to install an IID on their vehicle. For a second conviction, the requirement lasts for one year after your license is reinstated; a third and fourth conviction extends this period to two and five years, respectively.
However, you could be required to install an IID on your car after a first conviction if:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15 percent or more – which is several points above the legal limit of .08 percent in Florida; OR,
- You had a minor in the car at the time you were pulled over and arrested for drunk driving.
MYTH: Once I get my car started after blowing into the IID, I’m in the clear.
This is false because the technology incorporates a “rolling retest,” which requires you to blow at random times while you’re operating the vehicle. The process is the same, except that you’re already on the road when you need to blow into the machine. If you don’t – or you fail the test – the IID will issue a warning.
MYTH: It’s only a violation if I’m driving a vehicle without an IID installed.
This is untrue because there are multiple circumstances that equate to a violation for purposes of Florida’s IID system, including:
- Attempting an initial startup of your vehicle with a prohibited level of alcohol in your blood;
- Refusal to do a required rolling retest;
- Failure of a rolling retest; and,
- Tampering with IID equipment.
MYTH: Police have no way of knowing I’m under an IID restriction.
Officers will know immediately when they review your Florida driver’s license, which will have a very obvious “P” on the face of it.
Contact a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer About IID Programs
Hopefully, debunking these myths provides valuable information about IIDs in a Florida drunk driving case. Still, you’ll need an experienced legal professional to obtain a favorable outcome. When your driving privileges are on the line, there are severe implications for your personal life and professional interests. To learn more about defense options, please contact Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney Kevin J. Kulik to schedule a confidential consultation at our office.