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Florida's DUI Offenders Could Face Daily Breath Tests

If you've collected two or more DUIs in Florida, a judge can force you to install an interlock device in your car. The device requires you to blow into it before you can start your car. If it detects alcohol on your breath then it prevents your car from starting.

Well, the makers of the devices tried to change Florida law this year so the devices could be placed on the cars of first-time offenders. The plan sort of backfired for the vendors. Instead, the Florida legislature is in the process of approving a bill that would require some DUI offenders to submit to a 24/7 alcohol abstinence program instead of installing the devices.

Similar programs, dubbed "24/7 sobriety" in other states, require multiple offenders to submit to twice daily breath tests, random urinalysis, or to wear an alcohol monitor anklet. Remember that one Lindsay Lohan had on for a while? Yeah, like that.

Under the proposal, adopted by a House committee last week, judges would be able to order DUI offenders into the 24/7 sobriety programs instead of installing interlock devices.

According to the New Service of Florida, supporters say that 24/7 sobriety programs have shown greater effectiveness not only in reducing drunk driving, but other types of booze-fueled crime too like domestic violence.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles would like to see about half of DUI offenders placed in the sobriety programs and the other half relying on interlock devices for a period of five years to see which is better.

The FDHSMV however opposes sentencing first-time offenders to either program and claims that most first-time offenders do not repeat. However, the bill as written now could still apply to first-time offenders.

Article by Kyle Munzenrieder www.blogs.miaminewtimes.com

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