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Ignition Interlock Device in Florida

After a DUI arrest, a person might decide to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle. The interlock device can be installed, even if you are not convicted of DUI or required to install it by the court or DHSMV.

On a voluntary basis, a person might get an IID installed because they want to enter a DUI diversion program. Even if diversion isn’t an option, an attorney might recommend a person install the IID on a voluntary basis in order to negotiate a better resolution to a DUI case.

After a DUI conviction, the court might order you to install an ignition interlock device. The imposition of that condition can be required or discretionary depending on the statutory requirements for the charge.

Even if the court failed to order placement of an ignition interlock device for the mandatory time period required under Sections 316.193 or 316.1937, the DHSMV is authorized to order the installation of the ignition interlock device on any vehicle owned, leased, or routinely operated by the defendant.

Attorney on the Ignition Interlock Device in Florida

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with DUI throughout Florida. We understand the pros and cons of installing an ignition interlock device on a voluntary basis after a DUI arrest.

Our attorneys also understand the requirements that might be imposed by the court or the DHSMV after a DUI conviction.

Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss this or other criminal penalties after a DUI conviction.

Or isit the links below for more information on the ignition interlock device for Tampa in Hillsborough County, New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco County, St. Petersburg or Clearwater in Pinellas County, and Bartow in Polk County, FL.

How does the Ignition Interlock Device Work?

The ignition interlock device in Florida uses fuel cell technology which allows the vehicle to start only after the driver blows into the device to ensure that his breath sample registers a breath alcohol reading below 0.05.

The equipment then requires the driver to take the test again at random intervals while the car is driving down the road.

The data obtained from the device is sent through an internet based reporting program which can be viewed at any time by the driver’s probation officer. Any positive reading can potentially be used by the probation officer to violate the driver’s probation if the probationer is forbidden from consuming alcohol.

When Should You Install the Interlock Device After a DUI Conviction?

When should you install the ignition interlock device after a DUI conviction? You can wait to have the interlock device installed on a vehicle until after you have an appointment to reinstate your driving privilege if you are approved for a hardship license.

So after entering the plea to DUI, if the court suspends your license and orders you to install the ignition interlock device, you can apply for the hardship immediately after the plea (if you have a certified final disposition showing the DUI conviction).

Then after you are approved for the hardship license at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews, you can set an appointment to reinstate your driving privileges and then get the interlock device installed.

Does the DHSMV Require the Interlock Device Before the Hardship Hearing?

The DHSMV does NOT require you to install the ignition interlock device before the hearing.

In fact, the DHSMV will only give you credit for the time you have the interlock on their vehicle once you have valid driving privilege. For this reason, it makes since to have the interlock device installed, then reinstate that day or as soon thereafter.

How Long Must the Ignition Interlock Device be Installed?

When is the ignition interlock device must be installed under the following conditions:

  • First DUI Offense – under .15
    • Optional at least 6 continuous months § 316.1937(1)
  • First DUI Offense – over .15 or passenger under 18 years of age
    • Not less than 6 continuous months § 316.193(4)(c)
  • Second DUI conviction – under .15
    • At least 1 year § 316.193(2)(a)3
  • Second DUI conviction – over .15 or passenger under 18 years of age
    • Not less than 2 continuous years § 316.193(4)(c)
  • Third DUI  conviction within 10 years of a prior conviction
    • Not less than 2 years § 316.193(2)(b)1
  • Third DUI conviction outside of 10 years of any prior conviction
    • For at least 2 years § 316.193(2)(b)2

Certain men and women convicted of DUI are required to install an ignition interlock device before restoring the privilege to drive in Florida under Florida Statute Section 316.193.

Under Florida Statute Section 322.271, the installation of the ignition interlock device is required before the driver can obtain a “business purpose only” or “work purpose only” restricted driver’s license.

Additionally, the installation of the ignition interlock device may be required before reinstatement of the Florida driver’s license. When the driver becomes eligible for the program, the driver’s license is issued a “P” restriction.

If the interlock device is required as part of your DUI conviction, then the court will report that requirement to the DHSMV.

What is the Employment Vehicle Exception to the Ignition Interlock Device?

Under § 316.1937(7), if the court limits a person convicted of DUI to driving only vehicles “equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device,” employer owned vehicles used by the convicted offender in the course of employment are excluded.

How Much Does it Cost to Install the Ignition Interlock Device?

The costs required for the Ignition Interlock Device are subject to change, but were reported to include a $100 refundable deposit or a $5 charge each month, $70 for installation, and $67.50 per month for calibration and monitoring.

One important consideration after a DUI arrest throughout the Tampa Bay area is avoiding any requirement for installation of the dreaded ignition internet device.

The court is authorized to determine the person’s ability to pay for installation of the device if the person claims inability to pay. If the court determines that the person is unable to pay for installation of the device, the court may order that any portion of a fine paid by the person for a violation of s. 316.193 shall be allocated to defray the costs of installing the device. § 316.1937(2)(d).

What if the Court Does Not Order Installation of an Interlock Device in Florida?

Florida law was modified to expressly authorize the DHSMV to order the installation of the ignition interlock device or modification of the court order where the court fails to order placement for the mandatory time period under F.S. Sections 316.193 or 316.1937. See F.S. 322.2715(4).

Additional Resources

Ignition Interlock Course for Law Enforcement – Find resources for law enforcement officers who might encounter drivers who are required to use an ignition interlock, including the four recommended steps to verify that a functioning ignition interlock is installed. The downloadable, printable Ignition Interlock Course Resource Guide is a course for law enforcement officers that explains the definition and purpose of an ignition interlock, ignition interlock components, and state ignition interlock laws in Florida. The course is free and offered as a one year subscription.

Interlock Systems of Florida
(Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corp.)

Vendor for South Florida Counties
Toll Free: 1-866-837-8646

Interlock Group of Florida
(LifeSafer Interlock, Inc.)

Vendor for North Florida Counties
Toll-free: 1-800-728-7396

This article was last updated on Friday, February 26, 2021.