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What should drivers know about ignition interlock devices?

If convicted of or you plead guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol, you face varying penalties, which include losing your driving privileges. To regain the right to drive, the court may order you to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.

Understanding more about how the program works may aid you in meeting your obligations and, eventually, moving forward.

What if you do not own a vehicle?

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, to reinstate a driver’s license during the DUI suspension period, you must have an ignition interlock device installed. If you do not own a vehicle yourself, you may have the IID installed on a vehicle you routinely operate, with the owner’s permission. Under some circumstances and with employer permission, you may operate an employer’s vehicle without having the ignition interlock device installed.

How long is the IID term?

The length of time you must have an IID on your vehicle depends on several factors, including your prior alcohol-related arrest record. For example, you only need an ignition interlock if the court orders it for a first-time conviction. If you have four or more convictions, however, you will have to have the IID installed for a minimum of five years.

What triggers a lockout?

The device provider will set the alcohol threshold for your device to 0.025, if your conviction occurred after July 1, 2013. If you provide a breath sample that reads above this level, your vehicle will not start. Submitting two samples above the mandated level when starting up your car, providing a breath sample that exceeds the allowed level during a rolling retest, missing a rolling retest or tampering with the equipment will result in a violation. While you may face consequences for violations, they will not cause your vehicle to turn off while in operation.

Drunk driving arrests often have wide-ranging effects on people’s lives, in the present and the future. However, options such as the ignition interlock program may help limit the potential repercussions of their consequences.

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