Facing any driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Florida is certainly frightening. There are serious potential consequences involved, even for first-time offenders. In addition to the potential for jail time and significant fines, those who plead guilty or get convicted of a DUI will likely end up completing community service and losing their license.
After that license is reinstated, people often think they can get on with their lives. However, and many cases, they must first participate in an ignition interlock device (IID) program. Depending on the number of DUI charges on your record and the presence of any complicating factors (such as children in the vehicle or very high blood alcohol concentration), even first-time DUI offenders may have to install an IID in their vehicle.
What is an IID, and who has to get one?
For those unfamiliar with the term, an IID is an electronic device that bypasses the ignition for your vehicle. In other words, the device has to approve you turning on the vehicle. These devices work by requesting that the user perform a breath test on themselves prior to starting the vehicle. If you pass, the vehicle will start. You may also have to perform additional tests while you continue driving.
The idea is to stop someone with a history of impaired driving from putting others in danger. An IID helps ensure that those behind the wheel are sober and safe to drive. For those on a restricted license related to an IID, driving in a vehicle without an IID can result in loss of the limited license. Similarly, having someone else take the test or otherwise attempting to trick or disable the IID can result in the loss of your license and, potentially, other criminal consequences as well.
If you get ordered to install an IID, you will have to pay for it yourself
Any kind of DUI conviction in Florida is going to be expensive. You can expect to pay quite a bit in fees, fines and court costs. If you want to regain your driving privileges, you will also have to pay for an IID.
Typically, you will need to pay a one-time fee up front to install the device. You will then pay a monthly maintenance fee for the device as well. You may have to present the device for inspection during the time when you have to have it installed. If you damage it, that will cost you more money as well.
Overall, the benefits of an IID far outweigh the inconvenience it creates. After all, it allows you to retain your privilege of driving. However, it does create new restrictions on that privilege that some may find frustrating initially.