State pushes for new standard on interlocking ignition devices - FOX 13 News

State pushes for new standard on interlocking ignition devices

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Florida has mandated ignition interlock devices for some convicted drunk drivers since 2004.    Since then, nearly 65,000 people have been forced to blow into the device before they turn the ignition key. The equipment prevents a car from starting if it measures a blood-alcohol level above .05.  

But that level is too high, according to the executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.  Julie Jones is pushing for legislation that would lower the blood-alcohol level for these devices.   

"Florida has one of the highest blood-alcohol thresholds in the nation to activate the device at .05. We're proposing to lower that to .025, which puts it more in line with national standards," Jones said.

Convicted drunk drivers must use ignition interlock devices if they have been convicted of multiple DUIs, had a blood-alcohol level of .15 or higher, or if they had a minor in their car when arrested.   Courts typically order first-time DUI offenders to use the ignition interlock for about seven months, while the length of time for multiple DUI offenders is 14 months. 

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