Facing DUI charges in Florida or elsewhere is definitely no small matter. You may think back on the day police arrested you and wonder if it was all worth it or if you'd have been much better off choosing non-alcoholic beverages when you dined with friends that night. You may also be one of many motorists who know they only had a very small amount of alcohol in their systems and are convinced the results of their Breathalyzer tests were faulty.
Although it's sometimes possible, with regard to the latter, to challenge evidence, not all challenges are successful, and you could still face conviction if things don't go your way in court. If you do wind up with a DUI conviction on your record, your daily life may undergo drastic changes beginning with your means of transportation. You could possibly retain driving privileges; however, state law may require you to install an ignition interlock device before you get behind the wheel.
What you need to know about ignition interlock systems
Knowing what to expect ahead of time can often help you make the best of a bad situation. No one wants a DUI conviction on his or her record but sometimes it is simply unavoidable. That said, the following information may help you prepare for getting things back on track if you face conviction:
- An ignition interlock system is like a portable Breathalyzer test. It is installed on the ignition column in your vehicle and is set up so your car will not start unless you blow into the device and test negative for alcohol.
- If the device detects alcohol on your breath, your car's ignition system will remain locked.
- Although it may be very tempting to have another person breathe into your ignition interlock device, this is always a bad idea for several reasons. First, your device may also be equipped with a camera, and if you drive while intoxicated, there may be filmed evidence. Also, the device may prompt a rolling re-test after you have been on the road for a time, which could land you in jail if you fail.
- There are valid reasons you might have another person blow into the ignition interlock device on your car, such as if a mechanic needs to start your vehicle or someone is borrowing your car.
It's crucial to remember that facing charges does not necessarily have to lead to conviction. Keeping your record clean may hinge upon the type of defense you present in court.
The inconvenience of having to take a breath test just to get to and from work every day may be enough to deter you from drunk driving. If your criminal record includes a DUI conviction, you are far from the only person in Florida to face such circumstances. The good thing is that if you did not go to jail, you can get started right away to move forward in life and strive to minimize the long-term consequences of a single incident that need not ruin your entire future.