What you should know before getting an ignition interlock device

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2023 | DUI |

Florida doesn’t have one of the more stringent ignition interlock device (IID) laws in the country. However, an IID is required to drive after a second or subsequent DUI conviction or on a first conviction if a person’s blood alcohol level (BAL) was determined to be at least .15 or if they had a passenger who was minor. Further, a judge can always order an IID if they choose. The length of time a person must have an IID installed to drive increases based on how many previous DUI convictions they’ve had. 

Note that if a conviction comes with an IID requirement, a person only needs to have the device installed if they wish to continue driving legally. A person who agrees to an IID installation can get their license back with a restriction that designates they cannot legally drive a vehicle without an IID.

The only exception is if a person is required to drive a company vehicle as part of their job. If an employer gives their permission via the necessary document to drive their vehicle without an IID for work purposes only, then it is legal to do so.

How an IID works

An IID is a Breathalyzer-type device connected to the ignition. For the vehicle to start, the driver must have no greater than a 0.025 BAL. Further, the IID requires “rolling retests” where the driver is periodically prompted to blow into the device as they’re driving. 

Failing a rolling retest won’t cause the vehicle to stop, because that could be hazardous for everyone on the road. However, not taking a rolling retest when prompted or failing it are both violations. 

If you choose to get an IID installed on your vehicle, it’s crucial to follow all the rules and requirements. That means not trying to cheat it and bringing it to a certified facility to have it calibrated as scheduled. It’s wise to be careful with it. Anything that jeopardizes its functioning can cause false positive readings or possibly look like you were tampering with the device.

Of course, if you can avoid a DUI conviction, you don’t have to worry about an IID. If you do need one to drive legally again, it’s critical to understand what’s involved so that you can get through your time with it successfully. Either way, having sound legal guidance is a good idea.