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Understanding ignition interlock devices in Florida

Drivers convicted of a DUI in Florida may be required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles
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    December 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Drivers convicted of a DUI in Florida may be required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. While many people have heard of IIDs, not everyone fully understands what they are or how they work. These seemingly simple devices are quite powerful and it can be helpful to have more knowledge about them if you are facing such a situation.

Do all DUI convictions require an IID?

The answer to this is not black and white with the ultimate decision being unique to each case but, in general, anyone with a DUI conviction may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle for at least some period of time.

The basic guidelines governing the use of IIDs in the state of Florida are based upon the number of DUI convictions that a driver has on file.
- One DUI: For first-time DUI convictions, the use of an IID is ordered at the court's discretion. The exceptions to this rule are for cases in which a minor was present in the vehicle when the driver was arrested or if the driver's blood alcohol content was higher than 0.15 percent. In either of those situations, an IID is required for a period of six months.
- Two DUIs: Drivers with a second DUI conviction will be required to install an IID. If a minor was in the vehicle or the BAC was greater than 0.15 percent, the IID is ordered for 24 months. In other cases, the IID is ordered for 12 months.
- Three DUIs: All drivers with a third DUI conviction will be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for 24 months.
- Four or more DUIs: A fourth DUI conviction leads to a five-year period of driving suspension. After this time, drivers must install an ignition interlock device for the following five years.

A driver's license is not allowed to be reinstated until an ordered IID is proven to have been installed in the vehicle.

How does an ignition interlock device work?

Upon entering the vehicle, a driver puts the ignition into the on position and must breathe into the IID, which is roughly the size of an average cell phone. The IID is electronically connected to the vehicle's ignition and sends a message to the ignition that either allows it to be started or that temporarily locks it until a subsequent test is passed.

If the driver's BAC is beneath 0.05, he or she can start and drive the vehicle. While driving, further random tests are required at roughly 15 minute intervals. These are known as rolling retests because they literally can be taken while the car is in motion.

If a rolling retest is failed, the car's lights will flash and the horn will sound until the car is brought to a stop or until another later test is able to be passed. The IID cannot stop a vehicle once it is in motion.

Understanding your rights

A conviction for driving under the influence can carry very severe consequences. In order to receive the best DUI defense and chance for fair treatment, drivers arrested for drunk driving should seek out experienced legal help from a lawyer than can explain the process and work for their best interests.

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