The Florida House of Representatives could consider a new bill that would force first time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle in the wake of a conviction. Currently the Florida law forces first time DUI offenders to place a ignition interlock device in their car if their blood alcohol content was 0.15 or higher, or if a minor was present at the time of the DUI. This new law would be a blanket rule forcing any first time DUI offender to install an ignition interlock device.
The bill has passed its first committee, with two other committee's yet to analyze and debate the bill. If it passes those two committees, it will be presented to the House. More than half the state sin the country have a similar law on the books. There are also roughly 9,000 ignition interlock devices out on the roads at any given time in the state of Florida.
While it may seem like this bill is a good idea, it will place additional punishment on DUI offenders, especially given it targets people who haven't made a DUI mistake before. Ignition interlock costs a lot of money to install as the person who is convicted.
The DUI charge also places a bevy of other punishments on the individual. High insurance costs, jail time, penalties and fees, license restrictions -- the list goes on and on. Increasing penalties won't prevent people from driving drunk. It doesn't attack the root cause of the problem.
Source: 10 News, "Florida DUI ignition interlock bill passes House committee," AP, March 22, 2017