Law Offices of Ellis and Bryant, P.A.

Ignition Interlock Device

Jacksonville Lawyers Providing Advice in DUI Cases

In Florida, a driving under the influence (DUI) offense may result in criminal penalties as well as the revocation or suspension of driving privileges. In many situations, however, DUI defendants may qualify for a restricted license with the installation of an ignition interlock device. For reinstatement of a permanent driver license, an ignition interlock device may be required for most DUI convictions. At Ellis and Bryant, our Jacksonville DUI attorneys can provide assistance to individuals regarding the Florida ignition interlock program. We can also inform you of the program requirements, the costs associated with an ignition interlock device, and address any other concerns you may have.

DUI Ignition Interlock Devices in Florida

An ignition interlock device determines the level of alcohol content in a person’s breath. It communicates with the ignition system of a motor vehicle and enables the engine. To start a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, the driver must provide a breath sample registering a blood alcohol level at or below the threshold setting. Typically, the alcohol threshold is set at .025, although the threshold setting may vary depending on the specific case. The device will also alert the driver randomly to provide breath samples in a rolling retest. If the driver does not give the breath sample within three minutes, an alarm will sound and a violation will be reported.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle in order to reinstate your driver license. Similarly, this device is generally mandatory when a driver convicted of DUI seeks a restricted license for business or work purposes. Florida law requires drivers subject to the ignition interlock requirements to install a device on each vehicle that he or she individually or jointly owns or leases and regularly operates. Unless an exception is granted, the driver is responsible for fees and costs of installing, maintaining, and removing the device. An experienced DUI lawyer can explain the features of your ignition interlock device in detail.

Ignition Interlock Device Period

The ignition interlock device must remain on the vehicles for the duration of the restriction period. For a first-time DUI conviction, an ignition interlock device may be required for defendants driving with a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher, or for driving under the influence with a minor passenger in the vehicle, or if the judge orders it. In such cases, the ignition interlock device will typically be required for a period of at least 6 months. A second DUI conviction carries an ignition interlock device period of at least one year. The period may be increased to two years in some cases, such as a DUI with a minor in the vehicle, or a DUI with a blood alcohol level of .15 or above. A third conviction requires a minimum of two years of an ignition interlock device, and additional DUI convictions require at least 5 years.

A violation is reported when two breath test readings are above the threshold setting upon the initial startup of the vehicle. A violation may also arise if the driver fails to provide a breath sample during a rolling retest, or the results of the rolling retest are above the alcohol threshold setting. In addition, the ignition interlock device is programed to detect tampering, and interference may result in a violation. The driver will be notified of a violation by letter, and the violation will be reviewed by the DUI program serving the driver’s area.

Speak with a Jacksonville Attorney About DUI Penalties

The Jacksonville lawyers at Ellis and Bryant are knowledgeable in all areas of DUI and criminal law. We can prepare you for the requirements of an ignition interlock device, and help you fight a DUI conviction in the underlying case. We can provide defense representation for people in Duval and Clay Counties, including Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park, Middleburg, and other cities. Request a free consultation with a qualified criminal defense lawyer by calling our office at (904) 551-4120 or submitting our website contact form.