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Ignition interlock bill moving through FL legislature

Most drivers in Sarasota County know how serious a DUI offense can be. Those who are convicted of a DUI can face thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time. A bill that is moving through the Florida legislature would require those who are convicted of a first-time DUI and traffic offenses to install an ignition interlock device as well.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill to allow authorities to demand an ignition interlock device be placed in a person's vehicle after their first DUI conviction. The device requires a person to breathe into it to test their blood alcohol content level before the car would start. The car would not start if the device detects alcohol.

The current Florida law requires an ignition interlock device if a person's blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest is more than .15 or there was a minor in the vehicle. The new law would make the law tougher, but would also encourage qualified first-time offenders to have the device installed for 6 months, and in exchange, the DUI would be expunged from their records. Multiple driving while intoxicated offenses would still bring harsher penalties. There are two more committees the law must go through before it is voted on by the House.

Those who are arrested for a DUI may feel scared and not know what to do. Drivers know how serious a DUI charge can be and a conviction may bring lifelong implications. A legal professional who is skilled in criminal law can help by aggressively defending their client against these charges. They can investigate the situation surrounding the arrest and maybe have the charges reduced. They can determine whether there were other circumstances surrounding the arrest and if there was information that was overlooked.

A DUI conviction can mean thousands of dollars in fines, a criminal record and even reduced driving privileges. Having an attorney help tell their client's side of the story may make a big difference.

Source: news4jax.com, "Florida DUI ignition interlock bill passes House committee", Francesca Amiker, March 21, 2017

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