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Convicted of DUI? An ignition interlock device could await you

In Florida, if you are convicted of driving under the influence, you could be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. It's just another one of the inconveniences and costs you could be forced to endure with a DUI conviction.

With an ignition interlock device, a car won't start if the driver doesn't blow a suitable breath sample of less than .025 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), if the conviction occurred after July 1, 2013. For those convicted before then, the threshold is .05 percent blood alcohol level.

A driver also will hear an alarm that indicates it is time for a "rolling retest," which requires them to blow into the device within three minutes.

And the cost of the device? The devices aren't available at just any big-box store. A driver must make arrangements with one of the state's approved providers to have it installed at a cost of about $70. It costs another $65 to $75 per month for monitoring and calibration.

The ignition interlock device program took effect in the state in mid-2002 and affects anyone found guilty of DUI who seeks to have their restricted or permanent driver's license reinstated.

If the request is granted, a driver will receive a license bearing what is called a "P" restriction. That indicates an ignition interlock device is required the day the license takes effect.

Ignition interlock devices are required under the following circumstances.

  • First DUI conviction if ordered by a court
  • First conviction with BAC level 0.15 or higher or with a minor in the car requires its use for at least six months
  • Second conviction requires its use for a minimum of one year
  • Second conviction with BAC level of .15 or higher or with a minor in the car requires its use for at least two years
  • Third conviction requires its use for a minimum of two years
  • Fourth conviction and above requires its use for at least five years

A DUI charge can have serious consequences beyond the installation of a device for Florida residents. An attorney with experience in such cases should be consulted as soon as an arrest occurs.

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