Ignition Interlock Device

St. Petersburg Defense Lawyers Assisting Drivers After a DUI

In Florida, getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to restrictions on your driving privileges. Installation of an ignition interlock device is typically one of the conditions necessary to drive after a DUI. Understanding the requirements of the ignition interlock device program may be important to avoid a violation. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg DUI attorneys can provide advice to individuals seeking to regain their driving privileges after a drunk driving conviction. We can explain the details of the ignition interlock device program in Florida and answer any questions you have regarding compliance or alleged violations.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Generally speaking, an ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer connected to the ignition system of a motor vehicle. In order to start the engine, you must blow into the device and your breath sample must register a blood alcohol level at or below the threshold setting. An ignition interlock device also requires rolling re-tests. If the device alerts you for a re-test while you are driving, you must provide another breath sample within a certain amount of time. If you have questions regarding a specific ignition interlock device on your vehicle, you can contact DUI attorney.

When are Ignition Interlock Devices Required in Florida?

If you are convicted of a repeat DUI, you will probably need an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to drive again. For a second DUI conviction, the ignition interlock device must remain on your vehicle for a minimum of one year, and possibly longer in some situations. A third DUI carries at least two years of ignition interlock device installation, and subsequent DUIs require a minimum of five years.

For a first-time DUI, an ignition interlock device is generally not required unless the court orders it, or there are aggravating factors. For example, ignition interlock requirements apply for a first-time DUI committed with a minor passenger in the car, or with a blood alcohol level of .15% or above. In these two situations, the ignition interlock device is required for at least six months. A driver who is subject to these requirements must install an ignition interlock device upon every vehicle that they individually or jointly own or lease and routinely operate. The costs of installation, maintenance, and removal are paid by the driver.

How can I Avoid a Violation?

Violating ignition interlock laws can result in fines, license revocation, and other consequences. To avoid a violation, you must be aware of the requirements of the ignition interlock program. The device will record lockouts that occur a result of two or more initial breath test readings above the threshold setting. During a re-test, the device will record breath samples that were not provided, or that were above the threshold. The driver will be notified of these violations by letter. More serious violations may result if the ignition interlock device detects tampering.

In addition to violations reported by the device, there are other laws covering ignition interlock devices. For example, no one else may lawfully blow into the device to start your vehicle. It is illegal to even ask another person to do so. It is also illegal to drive a vehicle without an ignition interlock device when you are required to have one. Experienced DUI counsel can explain these laws in detail.

St. Petersburg Attorneys for DUI Defense

If and when you are eligible to drive after a DUI, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car. The St. Petersburg lawyers at Blake & Dorsten, P.A., can navigate you through the process and address any concerns you may have regarding the ignition interlock program in Florida. We serve individuals located throughout Pinellas County, including in Tampa Bay, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. Request an appointment regarding a DUI or other criminal charge by calling Blake & Dorsten at (727) 286-6141 or contacting us online.

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