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Tampering with or circumventing an ignition interlock device

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2019 | Drunk Driving

Facing drunk driving charges in Florida can lead to a variety of penalties that could negatively impact a person’s life in myriad ways. With fines, potential jail time and the loss of driving privileges, it is important to formulate a strong and effective defense to avoid the worst possible consequences. One penalty that a person convicted of operating under the influence might face is having an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

This device is designed to ensure the driver is not under the influence with the requirement to blow into it to register their blood-alcohol level. Still, there are potential violations with this device and these too can result in penalties. If a person tampers with or circumvents the ignition interlock device and does not have a driver’s license, there can an extension of the driver’s license suspension as well as fines between $250 and $500 for every violation. If the person cannot pay that fine, there can be a lien against that vehicle.

If a person who has a restricted driver’s license can legally drive the vehicle with the ignition interlock device, that person cannot ask another to blow into the device so the vehicle will start. It is also illegal to blow into the device to start a vehicle that has it installed so the person whose driver’s license has been restricted will have an operable vehicle.

Lending or leasing a motor vehicle to a person with a restricted driver’s license is illegal unless that vehicle has its own ignition interlock device installed. The driver whose ability to drive is contingent on operating a vehicle with the device is required to inform another person lending or leasing a vehicle of this situation.

The idea of the ignition interlock device is to allow the person who had been convicted of operating under the influence to drive in certain circumstances if they follow the rules of the device. Failing to do so can make matters worse. Losing driving privileges can harm a person personally and professionally. Perhaps there was a justifiable reason for violating the law for the device. Or the charges are unfounded. For a defense of these allegations or any charges related to DUI, having legal advice from a drunk driving attorney is important.