When must you install an ignition interlock device in Florida?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | DUI

Florida has specific legal requirements for the use of ignition interlock devices for drivers convicted of DUI offenses.

The state mandates the installation of these devices as a part of the sentencing for certain DUI convictions, particularly for repeat offenders or cases involving high blood alcohol concentration levels.

Who needs an ignition interlock device?

The requirement to install an IID depends on several factors, including the severity of the offense and the driver’s previous DUI history. Here are the general guidelines:

  • First DUI Conviction: Judges may order the installation of an IID for up to six months if the driver’s BAC was 0.15% or higher, or if a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
  • Second DUI Conviction: The IID becomes mandatory for at least one year. If the driver’s BAC was 0.15% or higher, or a minor was present, the period extends to at least two years.
  • Third DUI Conviction: An IID installation for at least two years is mandatory.
  • Fourth and Subsequent DUI Convictions: These cases require the IID for at least five years.

The length of time increases with subsequent DUI convictions.

How do ignition interlock devices work?

An IID is a small device wired to a vehicle’s ignition system. Before the vehicle can start, the driver must blow into the device. If the device detects alcohol above a pre-set limit, typically very low, it prevents the engine from starting. This system aims to keep the roads safer by preventing drivers who have consumed alcohol from operating their vehicles.

What are the costs involved?

Drivers are responsible for all costs associated with the IID, including installation, monthly rental fees and maintenance. These expenses can add up, making the IID not only a legal consequence but also a financial burden.

What happens if you do not comply?

Failing to install an IID when required can lead to further legal consequences, including additional fines, extended probation periods or even jail time. Those ordered to use an IID must follow all guidelines and maintain the device as required to avoid additional penalties.

The use of ignition interlock devices in Florida underscores the state’s commitment to reducing drunk driving incidents and enhancing road safety. By understanding and adhering to these laws, drivers can regain their privileges while contributing to a safer driving environment.