What You Need to Know About Interlock Devices in Florida

Every day almost 30 people nationwide die from alcohol-related car crashes1 and this is why the state of Florida takes driving under the influence seriously. Hillsborough County is known statewide for our DUI problem. It has been shown that using Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) can reduce the rate of repeat drunk driving offenses by 40+%2. But what is an ignition interlock device and why might you have to install one? Our Tampa DUI lawyer explains… 

INTERLOCK DEVICES EXPLAINED 

An ignition interlock device is a court-ordered breath-analyzing device that’s hardwired to a vehicle’s ignition. These are common penalties for drunk driving and are a requirement of Tampa Bay’s RIDR program for qualifying DUI arrests. 

With an interlock device, in order to start the vehicle, the driver must blow or exhale into the device and they cannot have a blood alcohol content higher than 0.025 percent (current Florida law). If the interlock device detects alcohol, the engine will not start. 

To prevent drinking and driving, the device can randomly ask for a breath sample at any time. From the moment the driver is alerted, they have up to 6 minutes to pull over safely and take the test. If they do not or have been drinking while driving, the car engine will shut off. 

Related > Do I qualify for the RIDR program?  

COURT ORDERED REQUIREMENTS 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a DUI, Florida Statute 316.193 requires the use of an interlock device for a specified amount of time. Here is a quick summary of what the law reads. 

# of DUI convictions IID Required? 
1st DUI Up to the judge’s discretion 
1st DUI, if BAL is 0.15 or above, or a minor is in the car At least 6 months 
2nd DUI At least 1 year 
2nd DUI if BAL is -.15 or above, or a minor is in the car At least 2 years 
3rd DUI At least 2 years 
4 or more (Condition of Hardship License) At least 5 years 

*BAC—Blood Alcohol Content 

The driver will also be responsible for all costs associated with installing and maintaining the IID, unless found indigent. There are approximately six state-approved service contractors (FL Statute 316.1938) who meet the requirements needed for proper installation and safety. Each month, drivers will maintain a monthly appointment to have their interlock devices calibrated and tested for accuracy.  

In some cases, you may need to have your driver’s license replaced. Your license will be issued with a “P” restriction indicating an IID is required. The time period begins on the day the “P” restriction is issued.  

A DUI carries many harsh fees and penalties that will impact your life and stay on your permanent record for up to 75 years in Florida. At Stechschulte Nell Law, our experienced South Tampa DUI attorneys can help you from the moment of your DUI arrest. 

Related > How to Get my License Back after a DUI Arrest 

YOU NEED A DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY 

A DUI conviction may affect your ability to get housing, a job, loans, or professional licenses. You want a criminal lawyer who understands Florida’s DUI laws and will create a strong defense for you and at Stechschulte Nell our board-certified lawyers will do precisely that! 

Contact us online today for a free case review or call our law firm 24/7 at 813-280-1244.  

Resources: 

1National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016 

2The International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety  

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