Understanding Florida’s ignition interlock device laws

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2019 | Firm News

If Florida authorities stop you and suspect you have been drinking, they will likely ask you to take a breath test. The results of that breath test may lead to a driving under the influence charge and, ultimately, a conviction. A Florida DUI can bring with it substantial penalties. One such penalty may involve having to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a predetermined period.

An ignition interlock device, per the Florida Safety Council, is a device you have installed in your car or truck that prevents you from starting the vehicle until you provide an adequate breath sample. Whether you will ultimately need to install one on your car after a DUI depends on the details of your conviction, but many people with DUIs in Florida wind up having to use one.

Convictions that warrant device installation

If you are a first-time DUI offender, the court will determine whether you need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, unless you had a minor in the car at the time of your offense or your breath test result was above 0.20. If your Breathalyzer reading was 0.20 or higher, or if you did have a minor in your vehicle when you got your first DUI conviction, you will need to install one for a period of up to six months. Second-time DUI offenders must install the ignition interlock device for a year or longer, depending on circumstances, while third-time DUI offenders will need to do so for at least two years.

How much will it cost you?

When a court mandates that you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, you will need to finance the installation, monitoring and calibration of that device on your own. Typically, this will run you about $70 for the installation, while monthly monitoring and calibration will run you roughly $65 to $75.

A Florida DUI can end up costing you a substantial amount of money, and unfortunately, financing an ignition interlock device may be only a small part of the overall expenses you face as a result of your charge.