After a DUI, the State of Florida can restrict your freedom through various methods besides incarceration, though it’s important to note that incarceration is a possible sentence after one DUI. If you’re convicted of DUI, you will likely lose your driver’s license for a period of time.
First, the Department of Motor Vehicles may impose a license suspension, which could be extended by the judge. Depending on the facts of your case, the judge, DMV, or even your probation officer could order you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle and any vehicle you operate. Sometimes, this is a requirement for lifting a DMV- or court-ordered license suspension.
Florida courts rarely mandate IIDs for first-time DUIs, but there are extenuating circumstances that may lead to this outcome. If you’re facing a DUI charge for the first time, you likely have several questions about what you should do next and how the charge will impact your future. The first step you should take after an arrest for an alcohol offense in West Palm Beach is to call a knowledgeable defense lawyer to guide you through your next steps.
How does an IID work and is it all bad?
When the court orders you to install an ignition interlock device in your car, you must cover all the expenses. The IID requires you to submit a breath sample every time you start your car, and the car will not activate until it reads your BAC. If your BAC is above the legal limit, your car will not start. The IID will also activate randomly throughout your journey to ensure your BAC remains below the legal limit while you drive. This is to ensure that you did not become inebriated during the ride or use someone else’s breath sample to get the car started.
Are there ways to “cheat” an IID?
There are common myths surrounding IIDs, including loopholes for getting the car to start without having to measure your own breath sample. Modern IIDs are challenging to tamper with, and attempting to cheat one you were ordered to install will lead to stronger penalties. Today, IIDs use highly advanced technology and may even come equipped with cameras that record you blowing into the machine. If the recording captures someone else blowing into it for you, the evidence will worsen your situation if the police stop you. Most IIDs will also fail to recognize other sources of air — such as compressed air from a can — as your breath.
An IID is a cumbersome and embarrassing piece of equipment that you may need to keep in your car for a long time. It can cost thousands of dollars to maintain for the duration of the required period while it interferes with your daily routine. Attempting to bypass an IID or failing to install it after the court orders you to can put you at risk of more serious sanctions.
When might I need to install an IID after a DUI in Florida?
In most cases, you won’t need to install an IID after a first DUI conviction; however, judges may use their discretion to order an IID if it’s your first DUI. This tends to happen when your first DUI has aggravating circumstances. Examples of these may include:
- Having a minor in your car when you were stopped for IID
- DUI manslaughter
- DUI with property damage
- Elevated BAC (0.15 or higher)
Additionally, you could be ordered to install an IID if:
- It’s your second DUI conviction (an IID could be required for a minimum of one year)
- It’s your second DUI conviction with a BAC of 0.15 or higher or with a minor in the car (IID could be required for a minimum of 2 years)
- It’s your third DUI conviction (an IID could be required for a minimum of 2 years)
- It’s your fourth DUI conviction or higher (you could be required to have an IID for at least 5 years)
On top of the IID, it’s common to face jail time, steep fines and court fees, vehicle impoundment, extensive license suspension periods or license revocation, and more upon a second or subsequent DUI conviction. Having a DUI on your record can affect your employment opportunities and may never be expunged. Your best option is to fight your DUI charge as soon as possible by teaming up with an experienced lawyer.
Don’t Take Chances With a DUI Arrest. Contact Attorney Brian Gabriel
DUI is a serious misdemeanor offense that could impact several areas of your life even after you’ve served your sentence. After serving jail time, performing community service, and attending an alcohol abuse program, your DUI will follow you for life. It could impact your ability to launch a successful career, and could hurt people’s perception of you personally, making it challenging to establish fulfilling relationships.
Now is not the time to give a lawyer who is just starting out a chance in the hopes that you will pay less for your defense. In the end, you could wind up with thousands of dollars in fees and fines if you lose your case. Talk to a skilled DUI lawyer in the West Palm Beach area as soon as possible after your arrest.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has fought DUI and related charges throughout Palm Beach County for more than 30 years and is highly knowledgeable about the methods law enforcement officers employ to put you behind bars for drunk driving. You can depend on him to provide a strong case, personal attention, and quality service. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete a contact form.