Ignition Interlock Device in Florida

After a DUI arrest, a person might install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle voluntarily or because the court or DHSMV ordered it.

The ignition interlock device (IID) is a breath alcohol analyzer connected to a motor vehicle’s ignition. The IID requires the driver to submit a breath sample to operate the motor vehicle. Section 316.1937, F.S., requires an IID to prohibit the vehicle from starting if the operator’s blood alcohol level is in excess of 0.025 percent or other court-specified level.

The interlock device can be installed voluntarily, even if you are not convicted of DUI or required to install it by the court or DHSMV. For example, a person might install the IID voluntarily because they want to enter a DUI diversion program.

Even if diversion isn’t an option, an attorney might recommend that a person install the IID voluntarily so that a better resolution can be negotiated for the 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 fails to order the placement of an ignition interlock device for the mandatory time 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 when the requirement is triggered by the DUI conviction.

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 the court or the DHSMV might impose 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 visit 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.

Call 813-250-0500.

How does the Ignition Interlock Device Work?

The ignition interlock device in Florida uses fuel cell technology, allowing 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 driving down the road.

The data obtained from the device is sent through an internet-based reporting program, which the driver’s probation officer can view at any time. The probation officer can potentially use any positive reading 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) and are otherwise eligible.

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 install the interlock device.

The DHSMV does NOT require you to install the ignition interlock device before the hearing. The DHSMV will only give you credit for the time you have the interlock on the vehicle once you have valid driving privileges.

For this reason, most people must wait to install the ignition interlock device until other sanctions on their record are cleared. Section 316.193, F.S., requires installation of the ignition interlock device “when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license.”

How Long Must the Ignition Interlock Device be Installed?

The ignition interlock device must be installed under the following circumstances:

DUI Conviction Ignition Interlock Device Required
1st DUI conviction If court orders it, for at least 6 continuous months – §316.1937(1)
1st DUI conviction if blood-alcohol level is ≥ 0.15, or minor passenger in the vehicle Mandatory for at least 6 continuous months – §316.193(4)(c)
2nd DUI conviction Mandatory for at least 1 year – §316.193(2)(a)3
2nd DUI conviction if blood-alcohol level is ≥ 0.15, or minor passenger in the vehicle Mandatory for at least 2 continuous years – §316.193(4)(c)
3rd DUI conviction Mandatory for at least 2 years – § 316.193(2)(b)2

Some people convicted of DUI must install an ignition interlock device before restoring the privilege to drive as required by Florida Statute Section 316.193.

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

Additionally, installing the ignition interlock device may be required before the Florida driver’s license is reinstated. 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.

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 during 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 the installation of the device if the person claims inability to pay. If the court determines that the person cannot pay for the installation of the device, the court may order 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 the 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 required under F.S. Sections 316.193 or 316.1937. See F.S. 322.2715(4).

Ignition Interlock Device Vendors in Florida

Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) contracts with at least seven (7) approved vendors to provide ignition interlock devices in this state.

The IIDs used by the approved vendors must meet or exceed the current standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as required by Section 316.1938, F.S. The DHSMV oversees and monitors the ignition interlock devices. See Sections 316.1938 and 316.193(11), F.S.

Additional Resources

Ignition Interlock Course for Law Enforcement – Find resources for law enforcement officers who might encounter drivers 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, April 26, 2024.