How Does Florida’s Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program Work?

Posted by Fred Koberlein | May 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

Ignition Interlock Devices

When you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Florida, there are several different penalties the judge can impose on you as part of your sentence. The types and severities of the penalties depend on several factors including any previous DUI convictions, whether there was a personal injury involved, and your BAC level at the time of your arrest.

Potential penalties for a DUI conviction include:

  • Fines
  • Jail or prison time
  • Community service
  • DUI school
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Alcohol treatment and counseling programs
  • Court costs
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device

One of the punishments for DUI is a mandatory ignition interlock device. In most cases, an ignition interlock device is ordered in cases involving second or subsequent convictions or in cases where an alcohol-related accident resulted in personal injury or property damage.

In some cases, an ignition interlock device is ordered as part of the sentence for a first offense DUI conviction when the person's breath alcohol content (BAC) or blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeded the legal limit by a great margin. These devices may also be part of the sentence when a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest.

Are There Fees and Costs Associated with an Ignition Interlock Device?

Yes, there are fees and costs associated with an ignition interlock device. As the defendant, you are required to pay the fees and costs for the installation and monthly service of the device. On average, the costs to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle exceed $200.00. 

You must also pay the monthly service fee for calibration and monitoring. The monthly fee averages $68 per month. If the judge in your case orders the device to be in place for two years, the monthly fee can become quite expensive (i.e. $1,632).

Because of the cost involved in this type of punishment, you should consult with a Live Oak, Lake City, or Gainesville DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. You may have a valid legal defense to the DUI charge. If you are convicted of drinking and driving, your DUI defense attorney may be able to argue against an ignition interlock device successfully.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

An ignition interlock device is designed to prevent an intoxicated driver from operating the vehicle by restricting his ability to start the car. The device is connected to the vehicle and hard wired to the ignition system. A preset breath alcohol content limit is programmed into the device.

When the driver enters the vehicle, he must breathe into the device. If his BAC level is above the preset limit, the vehicle will not start. The ignition interlock device contains a memory chip that records each of the BAC levels from the breath tests. The reports can be downloaded and provided to law enforcement agencies or the court. The device will also record any attempts to disable or tamper with the device. Each month during the monthly maintenance, the data logs are downloaded and retained as part of the driver's official records.

Some ignition interlock devices are designed to take “rolling tests” while the vehicle is in motion.  The driver must blow into the devices handheld alcohol sensor at random intervals. The tests are designed to prevent a driver from having a sober person blow into the device to start the car for him.

If the device detects a BAC level over the pre-set limit, the device will cause alarms to go off, including making the horn honk and the vehicle's lights flash.  The warnings will continue until the vehicle's ignition is switched off.

Call the Experienced DUI Attorneys for The Lake City, Live Oak, And Gainesville Areas

The DUI defense attorneys at the Koberlein Law Offices care about the people we represent. Call 386-269-9802 to reach our Lake City office or 352-519-4357 to reach our Gainesville office. You may also contact our office by using the contact form on our website to request your free consultation with a drunk driving defense lawyer.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein

Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law.  After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender's Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire.  Mr.  Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr.  Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006.  Mr. Koberlein's experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City's interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests.  Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area.  As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr.  Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available.  Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved.  If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr.  Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case.  Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments.  Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.


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