Understanding DUI Arrests in Florida and Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

Have you been investigated for, charged with, or found guilty of drunk driving in Florida? As a consequence, you may have been ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This can be the result of either an administrative hearing or criminal conviction related to a drunk driving incident. IIDs can be useful in one way: they are often required when you want to drive but your license has been suspended. They can also cause you problems. These devices are hard to operate and can produce faulty results that can get you into more trouble.

At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, our DUI defense lawyer will inform you of your rights and help you understand your responsibilities while you fight DUI or DUI-related charges. This is especially true if you are required to install an IID to your vehicle. Contact us at 813-320-7500 to schedule a Free and learn more about your legal options.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a small device installed in a vehicle to measure the amount of alcohol in a person's breath. A driver must breathe into the device before driving, and if the IID registers the presence of alcohol over the legal limit, the car will not start. If the IID registers alcohol under the legal limit, the car can be started but with one caveat: a recorded warning is issued.

Everything the device records is reported to either the court or your state's department for motor vehicles (e.g., Department of Motor Vehicles or Division of Motor Vehicles) – it depends on who ordered the IID device or who manages the IID program.

What Information is Recorded and Reported?

For your own information, it is good to know what information is or can be recorded and reported. Typically, reported information is pursuant to each IID program but may include any of the following:

  • Date and time of each startup or rolling test
  • Location of the vehicle at the time of each test, if equipped with a GPS
  • A photo of you at the time of each test, if equipped with a camera
  • Pass or fail results
  • BAC reading for each test
  • Number of lockouts, if any
  • Indication someone else tried to take the breath test
  • Any tampering with or removal of the IID
  • Missed service visits

When are Results Reported?

Results are reported at different times – again, depending on the specific state and the IID program. Generally, results are reported in real-time or at every service visit.

Why Are Ignition Interlock Devices Required in Florida ?

Every jurisdiction has its own rules regarding the installation of ignition interlock devices, but typically IIDs are ordered in any of the following circumstances:

  • You were investigated for DUI offenses and refused a breath or blood test.
  • Your driver's license was suspended, but you were granted a restricted or hardship license with the installation of an IID as a condition, allowing you to drive back and forth to work, school, doctor appointments, or another court-approved location.
  • You were convicted of drunk driving, and installation of an IID was part of the sentence.

Three Problems Associated with IIDs in Florida

IIDs are flawed devices. Many complaints exist but here are the top three problems.

  1. False Positives. False positives are a reality with IIDs. Common household products (like mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and cough syrup) and foods (like energy drinks, pickles, and fruits) have been known to cause a false positive.
  2. User Error. Like IIDs, people are flawed too. Some IIDs require drivers to hum while they blow into the device. This can be difficult for some people, causing the device to record a violation that does not exist. 
  3. Multiple Drivers. Many people share vehicles with their spouses and other family members, and there is no way to shut down an IID when the vehicle is being used by someone other than the person it is intended to monitor.

These problems are not insignificant. When an issue arises, it can create more legal worries with the criminal court. The state can also revoke the restricted license, meaning you can no longer drive your vehicle to/from work, school, etc.

While all these problems can cause frustration and affect your ability to drive, ignition interlock devices can also be dangerous. 

Dangers of Ignition Interlock Devices

What many people fail to realize is that IIDs not only test blood alcohol levels before allowing the car to start but also while the vehicle is in motion. This is known as “rolling testing” and is a common reason for IID criticism.

Drivers are randomly prompted to provide a breath sample while driving. The purpose is to confirm that an unlawful amount of alcohol is not present in their system while operating the vehicle. To submit a breath sample while driving, however, is a big distraction and takes your eyes off the road. The latter creates dangerous situations and leads to accidents.

The only way to stay safe, keep your driver's license, and avoid a criminal record is through a smart DUI defense strategy. There are no guarantees that you will keep your license and avoid a criminal conviction, but retaining a criminal defense lawyer improves your outcome.

Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer in Florida Today

If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, it is in your best interest to seek counsel from a defense attorney experienced with DUI cases in Tampa. Contact Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC by either using our online form or calling us at 813-320-7500 for a Free.

Have you been investigated for drunk driving in Florida? Have you been charged with or found guilty of the offense? As a direct result, you may have been ordered to put an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This might happen due to either a criminal conviction or an administrative proceeding connected to an event involving drunk driving. IIDs have at least one practical application: they are frequently necessary if you want to continue driving after having your license suspended. They can also make things difficult for you. These devices are difficult to operate and can generate inaccurate results, leading to further complications.

Over the course of your fight against DUI or DUI-related charges, the DUI defense attorney at Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, will explain your rights to you and assist you in developing an understanding of your obligations. This is especially important to remember if you are mandated to attach an IID device to your motor vehicle. Call us at 813-320-7500 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the legal alternatives available.

What exactly is the abbreviation "IID" (Ignition Interlock Device)?

A breathalyzer measures the amount of alcohol in a person's breath and is used in conjunction with an ignition interlock device (IID). Before getting behind the wheel, the driver must blow into the device, and the ignition will not turn over if the IID detects a higher level of alcohol in the driver's system than is permitted by law. Suppose the IID detects alcohol in the driver's system at a level lower than the legal limit. In that case, the vehicle may be started only after a recorded warning has been played.

Depending on who ordered the IID device or oversees the IID program, the information that the device records are either reported to the court or your state's agency for motor vehicles (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Division of Motor Vehicles).

What Kind of Information Is Obtained from the Recordings and Reported?

It is beneficial to understand the information being recorded and reported and the information that can be captured and reported. In most cases, the information that is reported is under each IID program; nevertheless, it may include any of the following:

  • Information regarding the date and time of each new startup or rolling test
  • If the vehicle was equipped with a GPS, the vehicle's location was at the time of each test.
  • A picture of yourself taken at the time of each exam if you have access to a camera.
  • Results of each test, both successful and unsuccessful, including the BAC reading
  • Indications, if any, that another person tried to take the breath test, including the number of lockouts.
  • Any attempt to remove or tamper with the IID is prohibited.
  • Absences from required service visits
  • When will the Results be Announced?

Again, this depends on the individual state and the IID program. Findings are published at various intervals. In most cases, reports of the results are made in real-time or during each service visit.

Why Is the Use of an Ignition Interlock Device Necessary in the State of Florida?

The court often mandates ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in any of the following scenarios, however, the regulations governing their installation can vary from one jurisdiction to the next.

  • You were being investigated for DUI crimes but refused to submit to a blood or breath test.
  • You were issued a restricted or hardship license in exchange for installing an ignition interlock device (IID) as a condition of getting your driver's license reinstated after it had been suspended.
  • This license allows you to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments, or any other location sanctioned by the court.
  • You were found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, and the installation of an IID was a condition of the sentence.
  • There are three issues associated with IIDs in the state of Florida.

IIDs are imperfect pieces of technology. There have been many complaints, but the following three are the most serious.

  1. A case of false positives IIDs are not immune to the problem of producing false positives. Everyday items found in the home, such as mouthwash, hand sanitizer, cough syrup, and meals, such as energy drinks, pickles, and fruits, could give a false positive result.
  2. User Error. Just like IIDs, everyone has their share of flaws. When using certain types of IIDs, drivers are required to hum while blowing into the device. This can be challenging for specific individuals, resulting in the device recording a violation that did not occur.
  3. Many factors contribute. There is no way to turn off an IID when the car is being used by someone other than the one that it is supposed to keep an eye on, which is a problem considering that many people share automobiles with their spouses and other members of their families.

These issues are not of minor importance. As a problem develops, it might raise additional legal concerns with the criminal court. It is also possible for the state to cancel the limited license, which would mean that you can no longer drive your vehicle to and from work, school, or other places.

Although all of these issues have the potential to make you frustrated and inhibit your ability to drive, ignition interlock devices also have the potential to be hazardous.

Dangers of Ignition Interlock Devices

Many people don't seem aware that IIDs screen for blood alcohol levels not just before they enable the car to start but also while it's moving. This is something that many people don't realize. This practice, frequently cited as a justification for IID criticism is called "rolling testing."

During their time behind the wheel, drivers may be asked to produce a breath sample randomly. This is to ensure that the individual does not have an illegal amount of alcohol in their system while behind the wheel of a car. Yet, providing a breath sample while driving is a significant distraction because it requires taking your eyes off the road. The latter contributes to creating hazardous conditions and can result in accidents.

The only way to avoid a criminal record, maintain your driver's license, and stay safe is to devise a solid plan for defending yourself against a DUI charge. Hiring a criminal defense attorney does not ensure that you will not lose your license or escape being convicted of a crime, but it does raise your chances of coming out of the situation unscathed.

Get in Touch With a DUI Defense Attorney in Florida Right Now

Suppose you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol in Tampa and need legal representation. In that case, it is best to consult with a defense attorney with prior experience handling DUI cases in the area. You can contact Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, for free by calling us at 813-320-7500 or submitting an inquiry at our website.

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