We provided our readers in Florida and elsewhere with some introductory information regarding the state’s ignition interlock program and requirements in a blog post from autumn of last year (please see our entry dated October 27, 2014). We follow up with some additionally relevant details regarding interlock devices today,
An initial point to note is the considerable discretion that state judges have in imposing interlock-related exactions on a Floridian convicted of drunk driving. As we note in an article on our website discussing Florida’s ignition interlock program, that discretion, while not absolute, is significant and impressive.
For example, a judge might order or refrain from ordering a first-time DUI offender to install an IID on his or her vehicle if that person was convicted on a charge based on a blood-alcohol content (BAC) lower than 0.15. If a BAC reading was at or above that point, judicial discretion disappears; a convicted motorist must install and pay for all maintenance and monitoring requirements associated with the device. That is also the case when a motorist -- even a first-time offender -- blows a 0.10 and was driving with a minor when stopped.
Interlocks in Florida are set to a BAC level of 0.05, although a judge can order a lower setting if he or she deems that necessary.
A driver with an installed interlock is likely to never forget the experience. For first-time DUIs, the IID must stay on a vehicle -- in fact, every vehicle used by a driver -- for six months. For second-time offenders, that time limit might extend to two years. A motorist must blow beneath the set level in order for a vehicle to start, and random additional checks occur during driving operation.
An IID is an onerous and exacting penalty for persons convicted of a DUI charge, and it is of course only one of many punishing and expensive exactions.
Persons with questions or concerns regarding ignition interlock devices or any other matter relating to a drinking and driving offense can obtain prompt, knowledgeable and aggressive representation from a proven DUI defense attorney.