Ignition Interlock Laws in Florida
Florida statutes provides the courts the discretion to order ignition interlock devices (IIDs) installed for persons convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) with a breath-alcohol concentration of up to .14. Florida statues require the courts to order an ignition interlock device (IIDs) for persons convicted of driving under the influences (DUI) with a breath –alcohol concentration of .15 and higher. The courts will notify the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) of the DUI conviction. The notification will include the time of the suspension and the requirement for an IID. IIDs must be installed when offenders are eligible to have their permanent or restricted driver licenses reinstated. The device requires the driver to submit a breath sample before the vehicle will start. If a breath-alcohol concentration of 0.05 or higher is detected by the device the vehicle when not start. The vehicle will not start until a breath sample reading of less than 0.051 is recorded. The device requires random breath alcohol tests while the driver is operating the vehicle. Data collected by the device are reported to the Florida DHSMV. IIDs must be installed by a vendor who is certified by the state.
Drivers convicted of DUI who apply for a restricted license for work or business purposes must have IIDs installed on their vehicles. IIDs must be installed on any and all vehicles owned or routinely operated by the offender. Any offender who is required to operate a vehicle owned by an employer for job-related purposes may be given permission to operate the vehicle without an IID installed. To operate an employer-owned vehicle without an IID, the offender must meet the ignition interlock requirements and have a valid license with the appropriate restriction. The offender is only allowed to operate the company-owned vehicle during normal business hours which does not include driving to/from work. The employer must provide written permission for the offender to operate the employer-owned vehicle for job-related purposes without an IID. The letter from the employer must remain in the vehicle with the offender at all times and be provided to law enforcement if the offender is stopped for a traffic violation. If the offender is the owner of the company vehicle, they have to have a device installed in the company owned vehicle.
316.1937 (7) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if a person is required to operate a motor vehicle in the course and scope of his or her employment and if the vehicle is owned by the employer, the person may operate that vehicle without installation of an approved ignition interlock device if the employer has been notified of such driving privilege restriction and if proof of that notification is with the vehicle. This employment exemption does not apply, however, if the business entity, which owns the vehicle, is owned or controlled by the person whose driving privilege has been restricted.
Offenders are responsible for any and all costs associated with the IID including the installation, maintenance and calibration. If an individual is unable to pay the installation cost of the IID, the court may order that a portion of the fine paid by the offender be allocated to offset the costs of IID installation.
For first time offenders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than 0.15, the IID is optional for the court. If an IID is deemed necessary in these cases, the court will determine the length of time that the IID must remain installed. For first convictions involving a BAC of 0.15 or higher or if a minor is present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the IID is mandatory and will be ordered for a period of “six months.” For second convictions, the IID is mandatory and will be ordered for a period of”one year.” The IID will be ordered for a period of “two years” for second convictions involving a BAC of 0.15 or higher or if a minor is present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. For third DUI convictions, IIDs will be ordered for a period of “two years”. Four or more convictions for DUI will result in an IID restriction for a period of “five years.”
Four DUI’s is a Permanent Revocation for at least 5 years. Offender may apply for hardship after 5 years. Offender must be in the Special Supervision Program for 5 years with an interlock.