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Fighting for the right to keep your driver's license after a DUI

You made the mistake that many Florida drivers before you made -- you got into your vehicle after you had a couple of drinks and headed home. You didn't feel drunk; you just felt relaxed. Perhaps your relaxed state caused whatever driving behavior drew the attention of the police officer who pulled you over that night.

Whether you participated in field sobriety tests or a roadside breath test, the officer felt he or she had enough probable cause to arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving. You probably already know about the automatic driver's license suspension you face, and you are looking for a way around it.

Could you qualify for an ignition interlock device?

If you can't get the license suspension overturned, it may be possible to go around it. Under certain circumstances, you could petition the court for the right to use an ignition interlock device. This device could allow you to continue driving. The catch is that you can't have any alcohol on your breath any time you drive.

An IID, which a licensed technician wires to your ignition, will not allow your vehicle to start if it detects alcohol on your breath. In addition, it will require you to provide additional breath samples at random intervals while you drive. Taking random samples prevents individuals from "cheating" by having someone who has not had any alcohol to provide the required breath sample to start the vehicle.

If the device detects alcohol while you drive, it won't just turn off your engine. Instead, it will prompt you to stop and turn off the engine. If you can't provide a breath sample while driving for some reason, the machine gives you a limited number of minutes to provide the sample. This gives you enough time to pull over somewhere safe off the roadway. If you fail to provide the sample or it detects alcohol, your lights may go off and on or your horn may honk until you pull over.

What happens to the data?

The data gathered by the device transmits to the proper authorities. Failed tests could result in the loss of your license, so it is imperative that you comply with the rules if you want to keep driving. Having an IID in your vehicle may not be convenient, but it does provide you with a certain freedom and the ability to legally drive.

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