About the care and feeding of your ignition interlock device

In the state of Florida, the DMV will suspend your license if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. To get it back, you may need to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

How does it work, what kind of maintenance will there be and how long must you keep it?

Small but powerful

Think of the ignition interlock device as a small computer with a mouthpiece. The device by your dashboard connects to the wiring beneath the hood of your vehicle. When you breathe into the mouthpiece, the IID records your blood alcohol content level and relays the results to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. If your BAC level is acceptable, your vehicle will start. Keep in mind that there will be random retests as you drive.

Maintaining the device

You will pay $70 to have the device installed in your vehicle. You will then be responsible for maintaining it. You must take the IID to a calibration facility once a month and make an appointment to do so. The recalibration process will take approximately 45 minutes, and the cost will be about $67.50. If you are unable to afford the cost of installation, the court may allocate part of your DUI fine for this purpose.

The court-ordered IID

If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol for the first time, you will not need to have an IID installed in your vehicle unless the court orders it. However, you will have the IID for at least one year if you have a second conviction. For a third conviction, the length of time will be at least two years.

Other penalties

The state of Florida wants to keep drunk drivers off the road. Even one DUI conviction may come with harsh penalties, such as a fine of up to $500 and the possibility of a jail sentence for up to six months. Drunk driving is a serious criminal offense in the Sunshine State, and the purpose of an ignition interlock device is to keep you from becoming a repeat DUI offender.

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