Ignition Interlock Device in all Florida DUI Cases? HB 681 and SB 864
It looks like the Florida legislature is one step closer to making a watered down change to Florida’s DUI laws. On February 29, 2012, the Florida House of Representative passed Florida 2012 HB 681 with 109 YEAS 109 and only 6 NAYS. The companion bill pending in the Florida Senate (called Florida SB 864) has amendments adopted on February 9, 2012, before it was temporarily postponed.
The bill doesn’t really change much of anything. Florida law already requires the driver convicted of a first DUI to either immobilize (or impound) his or her vehicle for 10 days. The driver can pay a company to come out and put a “boot” or “the club” on the vehicle. The company comes back 10 days later and gives the driver a certificate to hand over to the probation officer.
This new bill now allows the judge to require that the driver EITHER comply with that same 10 day vehicle immobilization OR install an ignition interlock device for thee months. Since these provisions are usually decided between the defense attorney and prosecutor, in most cases the driver would want to make it part of the negotiation that only the 10 day immobilization requirement is imposed since it would be considerable less expensive and inconvenient.
Not only that, but on a first DUI the judge already has the authority to require the driver to install the ignition interlock devise for up to 6 months. So this new provision is more about appearing tough on crime than actually accomplishing anything.
Ignition Interlock Devises in Floria are Expensive and Inconvenient
The IID is inconvenient because after the sentencing the driver cannot immediately go to the DMV to get a hardship license. Instead, the driver must wait until after the IID is actually installed. In many cases, the IID require amounts to an additional “hard period” in which the driver cannot drive for any reason because he or she is waiting for the IID to be installed. The IID can fail and any failure will cost the driver an additional expense.
The ignition interlock devise is expensive. The driver responsible for installing the device is solely responsible for the cost. The costs for the ignition interlock device (not including sales tax) include the following:
* $5 a month for an insurance charge or a one time deposit of $100 which is refundable when the equipment is returned;
* $70 for installation of the ignition interlock device;
* $12 fee;
* $67.50 a month for calibration and monitoring; and
* $100 refundable deposit or a $5 monthly insurance charge.
Under 316.1937(2)(d), if an individual is deemed to be indigent at the time of sentencing, the court can order that a portion of the fine paid by the individual convicted of DUI be applied to the costs requires for the ignition interlock device to help reduce the total amount paid by the person convicted. Additionally, a host of other “hidden charges” can apply including:
$25.00 – IID First Violation Appointment Fee
$25.00 – IID First Violation Missed Appointment Fee
$55.00 – IID Second Violation Case Management Appointment Fee.
$55.00 – IID Second Violation Missed Case Management Appointment Fee
$25.00 – Monthly Fee for IID monitoring associated with a second violation.
$25.00 – IID missed monthly monitoring appointment
$55.00 – IID Third Violation Appointment Fee.
$55.00 – IID Third Violation Missed Appointment Fee
$25.00 – Monthly Fee for IID monitoring associated with a third violation
$25.00 – IID missed monthly monitoring appointment
$25.00 – Fee to Transfer
$15.00 – Fee that applies to third time violators to transfer referral to a different agency for treatment from the agency originally selected by the client.Processing referral to another treatment agency from the one originally selected by the client.
$5.00 – DRI Fee (only if DRI is more than six months old).
$10.00 – Added charge for SSS clients required to have IID as part of their DL requirement.
But if the Florida legislature is bound and determined to pass something, it is probably better that they pass new laws that do not really change anything. So the minimum requirements are already set at a 10 day vehicle immobilization and the new law would allow for the exact same thing. The statutory language would still allow the court to impose the 10 day immobilization and then waive it under the hardship provisions written into the law. Alternatively, the judge already has the authority to impose the ignition interlock devise for up to 6 months as part of the statutory maximum allowed. So the changes accomplish absolutely nothing.
Read the Statutory Language:
CS/HB 681 2012
CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
F L O R I D A H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to interlock ignition devices ordered for probation for DUI; providing a short title; amending s. 316.193, F.S.; requiring that the court, as a condition of probation for a conviction of the offense of driving under the influence, impound or immobilize the vehicle that was operated by or was in the actual control of the defendant or require the defendant to install an interlock ignition device on all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the defendant for a specified period; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Matthew William Beard and Grace Redgate Act.”
Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of section 18 316.193, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
316.193 Driving under the influence; penalties.—
(6) With respect to any person convicted of a violation of 21 subsection (1), regardless of any penalty imposed pursuant to 22 subsection (2), subsection (3), or subsection (4):
(a) For the first conviction, the court shall place the defendant on probation for a period not to exceed 1 year and, as a condition of the such probation, shall order the defendant to participate in public service or a community work project for a minimum of 50 hours. The court may order a defendant to pay a fine of $10 for each hour of public service or community work otherwise required only if the court finds that the residence or location of the defendant at the time public service or community work is required or the defendant’s employment obligations would create an undue hardship for the defendant. However, the total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year. The court must also, as a condition of probation, order:
1. The impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle that was operated by or was in the actual control of the defendant or any one vehicle registered in the defendant’s name at the time of impoundment or immobilization, for a period of 10 days or for the unexpired term of any lease or rental agreement that expires within 10 days. The impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with the incarceration of the defendant. The impoundment or immobilization order may be dismissed in accordance with paragraph (e), paragraph (f), paragraph (g), or paragraph (h); or
2. The installation of an interlock ignition device in accordance with s. 316.1938 on all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the defendant for at least 3 continuous months.
For the purposes of this section, any conviction for a violation of s. 327.35; a previous conviction for the violation of former s. 316.1931, former s. 860.01, or former s. 316.028; or a previous conviction outside this state for driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level, driving with an unlawful breath-alcohol 57 level, or any other similar alcohol-related or drug-related traffic offense, is also considered a previous conviction for violation of this section.
However, in satisfaction of the fine imposed pursuant to this section, the court may, upon a finding that the defendant is financially unable to pay either all or part of the fine, order that the defendant participate for a specified additional period of time in public service or a community work project in lieu of payment of that portion of the fine which the court determines the defendant is unable to pay. In determining such additional sentence, the court shall consider the amount of the unpaid portion of the fine and the reasonable value of the services to be ordered; however, the court may not compute the reasonable value of services at a rate less than the federal minimum wage at the time of sentencing.
Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.
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