First Time DUI Offenders: Florida DUI Ignition Interlock Bill Passes House Committee

There could be more severe penalties on the way for first time drunk driving offenders.

A bill that would require an ignition interlock device on someone’s vehicle after their first drunken driving conviction has passed its first committee in the Florida House of Representatives.

The bill (HB 949) passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Tuesday. It must go through two more committees before reaching the House floor.

The interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The current law makes it mandatory for six months for a first offense if the person’s blood alcohol content is higher than 0.15 percent or a minor is in the vehicle. The devices are also mandatory for multiple DUIs.

Florida would join 28 other states and the District of Columbia with similar laws.

Ignition interlock devices prevent cars from being started unless drivers can prove that no alcohol is in their system. How is this done? There is a built-in breathalyzer that forces you to blow into it in order to drive as long as you are 100 percent sober. Avid supporters of the new bill believe ignition interlocks are vital because a third of all drunk drivers arrested or convicted are repeat offenders, and the average drunk driver is believed to have driven drunk at least 80 times before a first arrest.

This new law will require Florida judges to order ignition interlocks for first-time DUI offenders for at least six months.

DUI penalties just keep getting more and more severe as time goes on. Everyone can make a mistake, which is why our Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help. If you have been arrested for a DUI, let us help you right away.

Don’t let one mistake have a lasting effect on your life. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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