Are Ignition Interlock Devices Mandatory After a Florida DUI?

Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) are not mandatory after a first-offense DUI in Florida. However, even if a first DUI offense, the court may require a driver to use an IID if the judge believes it is warranted. In second and subsequent DUI cases, ignition interlock devices are mandatory and will be required to be used for a period determined by the nature and number of the offense. 


Using an ignition interlock device is one of several punitive consequences imposed by the Florida courts on those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other chemical substances impairing their ability to safely operate a vehicle. At Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law in Tampa, we have extensive experience successfully defending DUI charges and preventing our clients from unnecessarily suffering the inconvenience and indignity of using an IID.  


If you were charged with a DUI in Hillsborough County or Pinellas County, contact our office for a case review. We are here to help you when you need it most. 



What Is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)? 


An ignition interlock device or IID is essentially a portable breathalyzer machine installed in each vehicle registered to the person convicted of a DUI. The device prevents the engine from starting unless the driver provides a breath sample that indicates they have not been drinking. 


Generally, a level of blood or breath alcohol content of 0.02 will trigger an ignition interlock device and prevent a person from driving. That relatively low level is consistent with what would be present in a person’s breath following one ounce of alcohol, one beer, or one glass of wine. So, any drinking is likely to interrupt the driver’s ability to start their car engine. 


Rolling Breath Tests 


The driver must also provide additional breath samples several times into a trip after the engine is started. The system is designed to defeat attempts to evade the alcohol detection protocol. If a driver tries to evade the IID by asking a friend to blow into the device because the driver’s own breath will reveal alcohol, the car may start, but it will demand another sample in ten or fifteen minutes.  


If the driver fails or refuses to provide the required breath sample within a reasonable time after being notified to do so, the car horn will sound, and the lights will flash on and off to draw the attention of other drivers and police. The engine will not be cut off because that could create a dangerous hazard to other vehicles and could result in someone’s injury. 


The IID is installed by a private contractor who charges the driver for the installation, the rental of the equipment, and the periodic recalibration that is required on a monthly basis. Depending on the length of time a driver must use an IID, the costs involved in driving with an IID can be expensive. 


Who Is Required to Use an Ignition Interlock Device in Florida? 


Under Florida law, the IID is included as a penalty in the following cases: 


DUI 1ST OFFENSE: IID Not Mandatory 


  • Penalty is up to 6 mos. in jail (9 mos. if BAC over 0.15) fine of $500-$1,000 
  • Fine of $1,000 to $2,000 if BAC is 0.15 or higher or if a minor is in the car 
  • Up to 50 hours of community service 
  • IID may be ordered if a restricted license is granted. 


DUI 2ND OFFENSE: IID Is Mandatory for 1 Year. 


  • Mandatory imprisonment for 10 days if within 5 years of prior offense 
  • Fine of $1,000-$2,000 ($2,000-$5,000 if a minor was in the car.) 
  • Up to 9 months in jail (or up to 12 months if a minor is present or BAC is over 0.15.) 


DUI 3RD OFFENSE: IID Is Mandatory for 2 Years. 


  • Minimum mandatory 30 days in jail if within 10 years of prior offense 
  • Up to 12 months in jail if not within 10 years of prior offense 
  • Fine $2,000-$5,000 (No less than $5,000 if BAC is above 0.15 or a minor was in the car.) 


DUI 4TH OFFENSE: IID Is Mandatory for 5 Years or More. 


  • Up to 5 years in state prison (3rd Degree Felony) 
  • Fine $2,000-$5,000 (No less than $5,000 if BAC is above 0.15 or a minor was in the car.) 


Defending DUI Charges and Avoiding Ignition Interlock Devices in Florida 


The use of an IID in your vehicle after a DUI conviction may be unavoidable, but getting convicted is not. And yes, when an IID is ordered following a DUI conviction, the order applies to all vehicles registered to the person. Getting the best DUI defense lawyers to represent you and present a skillful defense is essential to avoiding an unnecessary conviction. 


Florida prosecutors have a heavy burden in most DUI cases. An experienced and knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer has years of courtroom practice challenging the evidence the state must present to obtain a conviction. Perhaps more than any other offense, DUIs require the state to establish that the police complied with a long list of mandatory procedural rules. 


The police must have all the following to prove a DUI case in Florida: 

Lacking any one or more of these components will sink a DUI prosecution.  


Read More > DUI Charges Vs. Conviction: What is the Difference?  


Florida DUI Defense  


If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Florida, lean on our skilled DUI defense attorneys in Tampa Bay at Stechschulte Nell Law at 813-280-1244 for a FREE case review today.  

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