Although most DUI offenses in West Palm Beach are misdemeanor crimes, they are not to be treated lightly. A DUI conviction is often accompanied by several damaging penalties, and the offense itself stays on your record for life. Your first DUI conviction can result in fines up to $1,000, with the minimum fine being $500. You could also be required to spend considerable time in jail. Like many other states, you could also be forced to drive with an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car for which all expenses will be covered by YOU. If you are facing your first DUI charge, you should understand the ways in which an IID can impact your life.
What to Expect from an IID
Do you remember the breathalyzer they used to test your breath alcohol concentration on the side of the road? An ignition interlock device is just like that, but for your car. You cannot start the car without providing it with a clean breath sample. Your breath sample cannot exceed the breath alcohol concentration at which the device is programmed. If it does, your car will not start. The IID is directly connected to the engine’s ignition.
Many people consider “cheating” the test by providing someone else’s breath. While this may work to start the car, the device will prompt you to provide more breath samples throughout your journey. This is to ensure it is receiving the driver’s breath. If the sample is not provided, or it exceeds the preset BrAC, the device will log the event, warn the driver, and start an alarm. The alarm may include flashing lights and a loud honking sound. It will do this until the car is turned off or a clean breath sample is provided. While some may think that the device will shut the car down, this would prove unsafe in traffic. The car will not turn off if alcohol is detected.
When Will an IID Be Required?
The state of Florida does not require IID installation for most first-time DUI offenders; however, it is up to the judge to decide whether to issue a mandatory IID as defined in Florida Statute §316.1937. If the court orders you to install an ignition interlock device in addition to any other penalties, it must be installed for a minimum of 6 months. If your BAC for a first-time DUI was at or above 0.15, the threshold for enhanced DUI, installing an ignition interlock device is mandatory.
A second and subsequent DUI conviction will result in a mandatory IID installation. If you face a second DUI charge, you can be required to drive with an IID for a full year at your expense. A third-time DUI conviction results in driving with an IID for at least 2 years.
Don’t face a mandatory IID installation without a fight. Attorney Brian Gabriel has dedicated over 25 years to defending DUI charges in West Palm Beach and beyond. Call The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel for a free consultation at 561-622-5575 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.