When is the ignition interlock device required and for how long?
For first time DUI convictions, the Ignition Interlock Device is only required if your breath test is above a .15. If your breath test is above a .15 you will be required to install the device for at least 6 months. For Second convictions, if you blew under a .15 you will be required to install the device for at least one year. If your blow was above a .15 you will be required to install the device for at least 2 years. On 3rd and subsequent convictions you will be required to install the device for at least 2 years.
Does Florida have just one company that installs these devices?
Florida has two companies that have contracted with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to install and maintain these devices. For individuals living in the northern portion of Florida, Interlock Systems of Florida is the only company that motorists can deal with if they are required to have the ignition interlock device installed. For motorists of Florida living in central or southern Florida, Interlock Group of Florida is the sole company who will install and maintain your ignition interlock device.
How much does it cost?
There are several costs associated with having the ignition interlock device installed. There is a $12.00 Interlock fee, $70.00 to install, $67.50 for monthly monitoring and calibration, and a $100 refundable deposit or a $5 monthly insurance charge. There are several vendors throughout Florida 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
Will the police officer know that I have an Ignition Interlock Device in my car?
When the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires you to install the ignition interlock device, a restriction "P" will be placed on your driver's license. That is referred to as a driver's license restriction. That means that any vehicle that you are operating at the time MUST have the ignition interlock device installed to the ignition. A violation of this restriction will result in a new criminal charge, and a violation of probation if you are on probation. In many jurisdictions throughout Florida, the state attorney will often want a minimum of 30 days in the county jail.
Can I avoid the Ignition Interlock Device by just waiting out the required period?
The quick answer to this question is NO. If you are ordered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to have the ignition interlock installed in your vehicle, you will not be able to make an end run around that requirement by not driving for a certain time period. You will be required to install the ignition interlock device if you want to maintain a valid status on your license. Below you will find a link to the Florida DHSMV website where you can check the status of your license in real time.