When law enforcement pulls you over in Florida, then charges you with drunk driving, your immediate future is likely to change. Depending on the situation, you might even have to spend time in jail. If authorities allow you to go home, the weeks to come will include appointments with court officials, various types of paperwork and, depending upon whether you are convicted, possible penalties that could be quite severe.
If you’ve never faced drunk driving charges before, and you have no criminal record of any kind, your situation might be more manageable than others whose pasts are not so clear. In fact, you might receive options to avoid more jail time and/or suspension of your driver’s license. Some people have even been able to continue driving themselves to work and other places after installing an interlock breath test device in their vehicles.
What is this device and how does it work?
Ignition interlock systems are often used to avoid revocation of drivers’ licenses. This way, you can continue your normal routine, whether that includes going to work every day, attending school or shopping for groceries. Because the interlock system prevents a driver from operating the vehicle while intoxicated, it’s viewed as a way to keep him/her, as well as the general population, safe. Here are the basics of how this device operates:
- The system installs on the ignition column of your vehicle.
- Before the car will turn on, you must provide a breath sample into the device for testing.
- If you test clean, your car starts, and you drive away to wherever you want to go.
- If the device detects any alcohol in your body, your ignition system will not engage until you re-test clean.
There is typically a certain amount of time before you are able to re-test. If you have failed a previous test, the amount of time before you can be tested again is extended. You might also be required to test while driving as well. If you fail, your car lights will begin to flash and horn will repeatedly sound until you pull over. Once you bring the vehicle to a stop, the ignition system will lock down and you will not be able to drive again until you test clean.
Some Florida drivers might think it’s better to have this device installed than to lose driving privileges altogether. It’s certainly something you could discuss with a defense attorney if you’re currently preparing to face drunk driving charges in court.