Individuals convicted of certain types of DUI in Florida may be required to install an IID device in their vehicles as part of the process required to reinstate their driving privileges. But what exactly is an ignition interlock device and how does it work? Can you get in trouble for circumventing an IID? Our New Port Richey DUI Attorneys go over the basics about the Florida IID program and how it affects those arrested and convicted of a DUI in this state.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

An ignition interlock device or IID is essentially a breathalyzer machine connected to a driver’s vehicle. Before starting the vehicle, the driver is required to use the device to conduct a breath test. The IID can be programmed to keep the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol content is 0.5 or higher, but the court can mandate even lower limits.

To ensure the driver is not using someone else’s breath to circumvent the machine, additional breath retests are required while the vehicle is being operated. The IID can capture attempts to violate or bypass the device and also keeps a record of high BACs. Any violation attempts or high BAC records may require the driver to bring the vehicle into a service center.

When Is an IID Required in Florida DUI Cases?

All drivers arrested and convicted of a DUI in Florida after July 1, 2002, who become eligible for reinstatement of a permanent or restricted driver’s license may be required to install an IID device in their vehicles.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, drivers convicted of a DUI for the first time whose BAC was 0.15 or above or who had a minor in the car are required to install an IID, as well as those convicted for a second, third, or fourth conviction and any subsequent convictions. Those who were convicted for the first time and whose BAC was between 0.08 and 0.15 might be required to install an IID but it will be up to the court to decide.

How Long Is an IID Required for and Who Pays For It?

The length of time a driver is required to use an IID depends on the nature of their DUI charges. The IID may be required from at least six months for first-time offenders to at least five years for those convicted of a DUI four or more times. It is the driver’s responsibility to have the IID installed and paid for unless the court determines that the person convicted is unable to pay for the device. The average cost of installing an IID device is between $95 and $125, with additional fines and fees for every violation and missed monthly monitoring appointments.

What Are the Penalties for Circumventing an IID in Florida?

Any action considered a violation or an attempt to violate or circumvent an ignition interlock device can result in a one-year driver’s license suspension. That includes doing anything to tamper with the operation of the IID or asking someone else to blow into the device to operate the vehicle while intoxicated. A second or subsequent violation can result in a five-year license suspension.

If you have been charged with a DUI, an IID may be an inconvenience but it is also a chance for you to restore your driving privileges. Regardless of how serious your DUI charges may be, you should not simply plead guilty without trying to fight back. At Carson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, our attorneys assist DUI clients to fight for their rights and will exhaust every option to try and get their charges reduced or dismissed when possible. Contact our New Port Richey office and request a free consultation to see how we can help.