The ignition interlock device (IID) is a breath testing machine installed in the vehicles of some who are convicted of driving under the influence in the state of Florida. This is referred to as Florida's ignition interlock program, and it is detailed in § 316.193 of the statutes.
Who must participate in the ignition interlock program?
According to the Florida Statutes, individuals who are convicted of their second DUI offense must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed for at least one year on all vehicles that the convicted individual owns or leases. Although not required as a penalty, courts can choose to impose IID installation for a first-time DUI offense.
A third DUI conviction within 10 years of the prior offense will have to have an IID installed for a period of two years or more. Any DUI, whether first or subsequent, in which the driver was tested at or above .15 percent blood alcohol content (BAC), the court must impose a mandatory sentence of IID installation for a minimum of six months (first conviction) to two or more years (second or subsequent conviction).
Who pays for the ignition interlock device?
The Florida Statutes specifically state that IIDs come at the sole cost and expense of the individual convicted for DUI. According to the DHSMV, the costs associated with these devices include the device itself ($12), installation of the device ($75) and periodic calibration/monitoring of the device ($72.50 per month) and a $100 refundable insurance deposit.
How does the IID work?
The IID is essentially a breath testing device attached to the driver's side of a vehicle. The device is installed in such a way that if the driver blows into it and the machine registers a blood alcohol content, the driver will not be able to turn the ignition and start the vehicle. Like other breath testing devices, the IID is manufactured to measure the amount of ethanol (the chemical left after alcohol is consumed) and convert this into a measurable BAC.
Are ignition interlock devices tamper-proof?
Yes. According to § 316.1938 of the Florida Statutes, IIDs can detect tampering, and attempts to "trick" the machine are monitored and logged by the department and can result in additional civil penalties. These machines also require random breath samples while the vehicle's engine is on, which prevents drivers from using someone else's breath sample to start the vehicle.
If you would like to learn more about Florida's ignition interlock program, you may visit the Florida DHSMV website or call a Tampa DUI attorney from our firm. At Taracks & Associates, we fight for those facing drunk driving charges to secure the most favorable outcome possible. For a free evaluation of your case, call us today!