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Ignition Interlock Devices in Florida

An experienced defense attorney will protect your rights

If you’re convicted of DUI in Florida, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This is essentially a breathalyzer that’s hardwired into your engine, requiring you to blow into it and register a legal breath alcohol concentration (BAC) in order to drive. The purpose of the IID is to prevent repeat DUI offenses.

This is one of the most frustrating consequences of a DUI charge, especially since the device has to be installed at your own expense. That’s one of the reasons you need an experienced DUI defense attorney fighting your charges and protecting your rights throughout the legal process. That’s why you need Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law.

How does an ignition interlock device work?

An IID is a type of portable alcohol monitoring (PAM) device, similar to the portable breath tests police officers use in DUI investigations. When an IID is installed on your vehicle, you have to blow into the device to start the car. The device measures your BAC, and if it’s 0.08 or above, your engine will automatically lock – and a log of the event will be sent to the authorities.

In addition, an IID may request a “rolling re-test,” which means you must blow into the device again while driving. (You should also have a few minutes to pull over if you don’t feel safe performing the test while driving.) If you don’t blow, or blow above 0.08, the car will automatically flash the lights or honk the horn, and an internal siren from the device will sound. The intent of the rolling re-test is to make sure you can’t just have a sober person blow into the device for you before you get on the road.

How much does an ignition interlock device cost?

In Florida, the offender is responsible for paying to have an ignition interlock device installed, and that cost can be substantial. Typically, an IID costs about $75 to install and about $72.50 per month for monitoring, plus additional state fees and the cost of IID insurance. Depending on how long the device remains in your vehicle, this can easily add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

What situations require an ignition interlock device in Florida?

In general, there are two situations where you are likely to have an IID installed in your vehicle. The first is repeat offenses. On your second DUI conviction, you’ll get the IID for at least one year. On a third DUI conviction, the IID will be installed for at least two years. Subsequent convictions can leave you with an IID for at least five years – if you keep your driver’s license at all.

The second situation is an aggravated DUI. You can be charged with aggravated DUI if your BAC was .15 or higher (that is, well above the legal limit of 0.08), or if you had a child passenger in the car with you when you were driving under the influence. On your first aggravated DUI charge, you will have the IID installed for at least six months. A second or subsequent aggravated DUI will result in IID installation for at least two years.

Normally, you are not required to have an IID installed after your first DUI conviction assuming it isn’t aggravated. However, the judge does have discretion to add the IID to your sentencing for up to six months.

Get an attorney with the experience to protect your rights

Having to blow into a breathalyzer every time you start your car isn’t just inconvenient; it’s a significant cost. Florida is famously tough on DUI offenders, and the ignition interlock device is just part of those tough consequences. You could be looking at jail time, fines, and significant restrictions on your independence and your future.

The way forward is to protect your rights with an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side. I have the experience and winning track record you can count on to fight back against DUI charges in Polk County and beyond. Call 863-688-4606 or use the online contact form for a free consultation.

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