Florida Requires Breath-Testing Ignition Gadget for DWI Convicts


The St. Petersburg Times reports thousands of Florida motorists convicted of driving drunk will soon face a new obstacle to getting back on the road: the ignition interlock device.

Those drivers will not be able to start their cars if their blood alcohol level is higher than 0.05 percent.

The cars must be equipped with a device about the size of a cell phone that takes a breath sample. Drivers will pay about $75 for the device, plus maintenance fees of about $65 a month.

Prodded by a federal requirement, Gov. Jeb Bush and the Cabinet on Tuesday approved use of the devices, beginning Feb. 1. But the devices will apply to anyone convicted of DUI since July 1, 2002. That covers about 20,000 drivers.

The Legislature passed a law in 2002 requiring the interlocks.

Andy Hindman, state executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said the interlocks should diminish the number of repeat DUI offenders who keep driving after their licenses have been suspended or revoked. “We believe it’s going to make Florida’s highways much safer,” Hindman said.

Link: http://www.stpetetimes.com/2003/12/17/State/Car_lock_will_stall_d.shtml

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