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:
- 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.