Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Why ignition interlocks are not going away

It has been about 25 years since the first state incorporated ignition interlock devices into its sentencing practices. Since then, the remaining 49 states have all adopted DUI laws that mention these devices in some way. Although some states are more lenient in requiring IIDs, Florida may implement them after only one offense.

The big question remains: Why have IIDs become so prevalent? Do they actually work long-term?

How effective are ignition interlock devices?

Ignition interlocks attach to vehicles and make it so that the car will not start until the driver has passed a breathalyzer test. Overall, the practice of using these devices to reduce DUIs has been largely successful. The Center for Disease Control reports that 70% of drivers do not become repeat offenders once installing court-ordered IIDs.

The problem with these devices is that they can be expensive, and it is a bit conspicuous when you have passengers in your vehicle. However, if a judge has already convicted you, you stand a greater chance of regaining your driving privileges sooner.

How can you avoid the installation of an IID?

In Florida, IID laws are fairly strict. A judge may require installation of a device after your first offense. If your blood alcohol content was above 0.15 or you were driving with a minor, it becomes a required sentence with a duration up to six months. 

When repeat offenses occur, the amount of time you must drive with an IID continues to go up, with a minimum of five years once you reach four or more convictions. The solution, of course, is to avoid a DUI conviction.

Just because an officer arrests you for driving under the influence does not mean you are guilty. Many factors could have led to an improper arrest, so do not give up. You may be able to avoid the installation of an ignition interlock device if you can prove the charges are not supported by the evidence.

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