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Are ignition interlock devices required in Florida?

If you have been charged with a DUI in Florida, the court may require you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. These devices are designed to prevent motorists from operating a car while intoxicated.

Whether you have been convicted of your first DUI or you have several previous charges, it is important to know what interlock devices are and how they work, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

How do interlock devices operate?

An interlock device is installed directly into the ignition system of the car, and also has a dashboard monitor. Before you can start your car, you must blow into a tube connected to the device. The IID will then determine your blood alcohol content level. If it is below the preset limit, the car will start and you will be able to drive.

Periodically during the drive, the device will prompt you to submit another breath sample. If at any time you fail to submit a breath sample or have a BAC level that measures over limit, the car will sound and power down.

What are Florida IID laws?

Although an IID is not required on your first DUI offense, it is up to the discretion of the judge presiding over the case to determine what is best in your particular situation. For example, if you are convicted of a DUI and a minor was present in your vehicle at the time of your arrest, you must have an IID for at least six months, even on your first offense.  If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, you must use an IID for at least one year. However, you must qualify for a restricted driver’s license in order to operate a car.