If you have been approved for a restricted hardship license after a DUI arrest or conviction, you will likely be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
For a first conviction, the device may be ordered at the judge’s discretion unless you were found to have a blood alcohol content over .15, in which case it is mandatory for at least 6 months.
For a second conviction, you will need the device for at least one year, and two years for a BAC of .15 or greater.
A third conviction mandates the use of the device for at least two years.
With four or more convictions, the minimum is five years.
In order to start the car, you will need to blow into the device, and if the blood alcohol content reading is higher than .025, the car won’t start. The device will also record your BAC in repeated tests at intervals as you are driving, since the amount of alcohol that has made it into your blood can increase with time. The data is recorded for monitoring by the DMV and/or the court.
You will need to pay for the installation and ongoing use of the device yourself. Florida lists several approved vendors, and the cost, after an installation fee, is in the vicinity of $100 per month.
If you can demonstrate that you are not able to pay for the installation of the interlock device, the court may order that the cost, or a part of it, come out of your fines associated with the DUI.
Clearly, having to use an ignition interlock device is an expensive proposition, and although it beats not being able to drive at all, it is something best avoided. With an aggressive attorney fighting to spare you a DUI conviction, you have a better chance of resuming your driving privilege unhindered by this expensive device and the monitoring associated with it.