Just last year, a bill made its way through the Florida Senate introducing harsher penalties for refusing to submit to DUI tests and DUI convictions. Senate Bill 1244 (2016) redefined a first refusal of a breath, blood, or urine test as a punishable offense and introduced harsher penalties on top of what the DMV can currently impose. Lawmakers also aimed to instill stricter penalties for a second refusal and first-time DUI convictions.
Additionally, the proposed amendment would have required the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) at the driver’s expense for 12 months after any refusal of a DUI test. Later, the amendment was changed to impose an IID for anyone convicted of their very first DUI. The bill later died in the Senate upon evaluation by the Appropriations Subcommittee.
Understanding Ignition Interlock Devices in West Palm Beach
Although Senate Bill 1244: Driving Under the Influence failed, it’s important to know when an IID may be a term of your sentence if you are ever convicted of a DUI crime.
When Can I Face an IID in West Palm Beach?
Technically, an IID may be ordered for any DUI conviction. Judges are not required to order an ignition interlock device for a person’s very first DUI conviction, but they may use their discretion to do so if the driver’s BAC fell below 0.15 and there were no minors in the vehicle. Otherwise, an IID is required under the following circumstances, as stated in §322.2715:
- A first DUI conviction in which the blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or higher, or there was a minor in the car at the time of the DUI stop
- A second DUI conviction
- A second DUI conviction in which the BAC is 0.15 or above, or there was a minor present in the car at the time of the DUI stop
- A third DUI conviction
- Four or more DUI convictions
The amount of time the court will order you to drive with an IID varies and increases as you accumulate convictions.
- For a first-time DUI, you may be ordered to drive with an IID for a minimum of 6 months
- For a second conviction, you may be ordered to drive with an IID for a minimum of 1 year
- For a second conviction with a BAC above 0.15 or there was a minor in the vehicle, you may be ordered to drive with an IID for a minimum of 2 years
- For a third DUI conviction, you may be ordered to use an IID for at least 2 years
- For four or more DUI convictions, you may be ordered to use an IID for a minimum of 5 years
Ignition interlock devices are costly to install and maintain. They can sometimes malfunction and provide false positive or false negatives. For the best defense against a DUI in West Palm Beach, consult with a seasoned criminal defense attorney like Brian Gabriel who has dedicated the focus of his career to defending DUI throughout South Florida. Call 561-622-5575 to schedule a free consultation or reach out to us online.