What Happens if I Violate My Interlock Device?

In Florida, driving under the influence of alcohol or other chemicals and controlled substances carries strict penalties. In addition to potential jail sentences, fines, driver retraining, alcohol or drug counseling, and license suspensions, some DUI offenses require an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to be installed in your car or truck.

Our DUI attorneys explain what an IID is, how it works, and what happens if you violate the Ignition Interlock Device court orders.

In Tampa and Hillsborough County, DUI defense is among Stechschulte Nell’s most specialized services. The threat of severe financial penalties, long periods with a revoked license, and being required to install an ignition interlock device leaves drivers accused of DUI desperate to avoid a conviction. Attorneys Ben Stechschulte and Amy Nell approach the defense of every DUI case with years of experience analyzing every fact pattern to ensure the evidence stands up to the legal tests required for reliability, admissibility, and persuasiveness. No piece of evidence is unchallenged.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, is a portable blood alcohol content measuring device with a mouthpiece into which a person blows. The breath sample travels through a tube into the handheld IID unit where it is measured for alcohol. The monitor is connected by a wire to the ignition.

If the reading from the monitor shows a higher alcohol level than the preset limit, the ignition will not start the car. In Florida, the required preset level is .025 BAC. If any IID breath sample is measured above .025, the car should not start. Some states’ preset is much lower, no higher than the IID’s margin of error, near 0.

The IID also requires random in-use or rolling tests when the car is being driven. If at that time the alcohol level is higher than the preset limit, or if no breath sample is provided, an alarm is triggered that can beep the horn and flash the headlights until the car is turned off. The IID unit records the event as a violation and the probation department is notified.

Who Is Required to Have an Ignition Interlock Device?

Florida law requires an IID to be installed in the vehicle of drivers found guilty or who admit to certain DUI offenses. If a driver is convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of 0.15 or if any DUI offense occurred while a minor was in the vehicle, part of the mandatory penalty is the installation of an IID in the offender’s vehicle(s) for at least 6 months.

For all second offense DUIs, an IDD must be installed in the offender’s vehicles(s) for 1 year as part of the increased penalties.

For all third offense DUIs within 10 years, an IDD installation is required for 2 years along with the other still higher penalties.

The defendant must pay all expenses related to the purchase, installation, and maintenance of the IID. If the person demonstrates an inability to pay, then some of the other fines they paid as part of the DUI conviction can be diverted to offset some of the cost.

Violations of the IID Requirements

The purpose of the IID is to prevent the driver who drove under the influence from reoffending. Public safety is served while also permitting the offender to get to work or to drive as part of their job. But the IID is not a fool-proof system. If someone is tempted to interfere with or attempt to evade the IID requirements ordered by the court, the law identifies specific acts that will bring severe punishment if the person is detected.

Engaging in any of these activities constitutes a violation of the IID law and carries penalties:

  • Tampering with, circumventing, or disconnecting the IID unit from the ignition (may result in blocking reactivation),
  • Asking another person to blow the breath sample (some units have cameras),
  • Blowing into an IID for another person who is required to have the IID installed on the vehicle,
  • Failing to install the IID,
  • Operating any vehicle not equipped with an IID
  • Borrowing or renting a vehicle that is not equipped with an IID,
  • Knowing lending a vehicle not equipped with an IID to a person known to be required to use an IID equipped vehicle,
  • Failing to notify a person lending a vehicle to the driver about the IID requirement,
  • Clearing an initial IID breath test but failing a rolling IID test,

These are the most common violations that occur with IID-related cases in Tampa and Hillsborough County.

Penalties for Violating the IID Requirements

The penalties for violating the terms of a court-imposed IID requirement order are intended to discourage any attempt to evade the device and to assign a tough punishment to those who try.

  • Additional 1-year license revocation — Florida law mandates that any person convicted of violating any section of the FS 316.1937, the IID statute, shall have an additional 1-year license revocation in addition to any other penalty imposed by other laws. If during the same IID requirement period the person is convicted of a second violation, then the punishment is an additional 5-year license revocation.
  • If IID Violator Has No License, $250 to $500 fine with lien against vehicle if not paid — If the person convicted of an IID violation when their driver’s license is already revoked, then the penalty for violating the IID requirement is monetary fine that hurts because even those “unable” to pay the fine are subject to having a lien placed on the vehicle they used in the violation to satisfy the amount of the fine.

Read More> What You Need to Know About Interlock Devices

Tampa DUI Defense

If you have violated your interlock device or have been convicted of a DUI, call our defense attorneys at Stechschulte Nell. We are Tampa’s premier DUI defense attorneys, and we are ready to defend your case.

Call today for a case review: 813-280-1244.

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