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Overview of Ignition Interlock Devices

Florida law takes driving under the influence very seriously. Even a first-time offense can find an accused driver facing not only time in jail, fines and penalties, and a license suspension, but can also involve the installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. Thomas & Paulk, P.A. share everything a driver should know about an ignition interlock device and how you can make sure that you do not obtain additional penalties when using one.

All About Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device, also called an IID, is a machine that is installed on a person's car that will prevent them from starting their car if they have a certain BAC. A driver will blow into the device which will read the alcohol detected on their breath, similar to a breathalyzer used by law enforcement. If any unauthorized BAC reading is registered on the device, the car will not start.

Having an ignition interlock device installed on a car can be a huge expense on a driver, both financially and psychologically. The driver will need to pay for the initial charge for the device and then a monthly charge for keeping law enforcement updated.

In order to use this device, a driver needs to follow these steps:

  • Pay a certified installer to put the IID in their vehicle and agree to have their BAC readings reported to law enforcement or the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Blow into the attached mouthpiece on the device to read their BAC content
  • Drive their car, periodically pulling over for BAC checks, or wait to drive until they sober up

Even a first time conviction can require a Florida driver to have an IID installed on their vehicle. This can be installed after the license suspension period if a driver indicates that they need their car to drive to school or work.

What happens if you try to cheat an IID?

What will stop a sober passenger from blowing into the IID and allowing the driver to get behind the wheel after they have had a few drinks? There are built-in security measures to prevent this. One of the more common features is sounding an alarm periodically which will force a driver to pull to the side of the road to have their BAC tested once more. If the reading reveals that a driver that did not have a BAC a few minutes earlier has a significant BAC after driving, law enforcement will be notified and penalties will be given for attempting to cheat.

The installation of an ignition interlock device is only one of the ways that a person's freedoms are imposed on following a DUI conviction. Don't let this happen to you! Our firm offers free case evaluations for Tampa drivers that have been charged with driving under the influence.

Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Attorneys at Law