Overview of Florida’s Ignition Interlock Program

There are numerous penalties that can be enforced when someone is convicted of a DUI. In Florida, it could result in the ignition interlock program being implemented. This prevents individuals from starting and operating a vehicle without first passing a Breathalyzer test.

When can an ignition interlock become mandatory?

There are several scenarios in which this can happen. Most often it occurs on second or subsequent convictions. Depending on how many convictions, it could be required for a minimum of one or two years.

There are times when it can also be mandated upon a first DUI offense. This would be the case if blood alcohol content is 0.20 or higher, there was a minor in the vehicle at the time, or if court ordered.

How does the ignition interlock system work?

In order to start the vehicle, the person must breathe into the device. About five minutes later the device will beep and the driver must breathe into it again. This happens in 30 minute intervals.

Once the individual has breathed into the device, the information is recorded. It is then sent to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Am I required to pay the costs of installing the ignition interlock device? 

Those who have been charged with a DUI and must comply with the program have to pay all related fees. It costs $70 for installation, which may be covered by any fines that have to be paid. There is also a monthly fee of $67.50 for monitoring and calibration.

Florida DUI arrest statistics indicate a high number of arrests for drinking and driving. With the potential to face significant penalties and the inconvenience of this system, it may be helpful to consult an attorney if facing charges.