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Pinellas County DUI & Criminal Defense

Florida Interlock Program

An ignition interlock system is a mechanical device that tests the driver’s breath for alcohol before allowing the vehicle to start.

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Myths about Interlocks

A Common Myth: If the ignition interlock device fails, you will not be able to start and move your vehicle.

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Frequent Questions

Frequently Asked Question: How long will I be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in my car?

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Welcome to

On July 1, 2003 Florida legislation went into effect mandating that many persons convicted of DUI install an ignition interlock device prior to seeking driver’s license reinstatement. Ignition interlock devices are no longer discretionary sentencing options. Rather, this new body of law made the ignition interlock device a mandatory DHSMV administrative prerequisite to reinstating your privilege to drive.

How This Specialized Website Can Help You is provided as a courtesy by the Law Offices of Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, P.A. The Law Firm’s more comprehensive criminal defense website can be found at Access our website dedicated just to DUI Defense at

Pinellas County Ignition SymposiumAttorneys Marc Pelletier and Tim Sullivan are former state prosecutors whose practice is limited to criminal and DUI cases arising out of the St. Petersburg / Clearwater / Pinellas County area.  These lawyers hold a host of specialized DUI credentials that include certification as Intoxilyzer operators and NHTSA certification in the proper administration of field sobriety testing.  Theirknowledge of Florida Ignition Interlock devicesand DUI legislation is extensive.

When Florida Ignition Interlock legislation was first introduced to the Pinellas County legal system, Attorney Frank Russo was called upon to present an Ignition Interlock Symposium designed to educate defense attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, and the local media on the ramifications of this sweeping new law.

This website will provide you with a great deal of information on Florida’s Ignition Interlock law, including:

Pinellas Arrest for Driving on a Suspended License?
Learn About Multiple Offender Hardship Licenses

What are Interlocks?

ignition interlock

An ignition interlock device is an in-car breath screening apparatus that requires the driver to pass a breath-alcohol test before his motor vehicle will start. Typically, the device is located near the driver’s seat, and hard wired to the engine’s ignition system. Once the driver blows into a mouthpiece, the device will determine if his breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) exceeds a pre-set limit. If the driver’s BrAC exceeds the prohibited level, the ignition interlock will effectively prevent the vehicle from being started.

After the engine has been started, the interlock will randomly request subsequent breath samples as the motorist proceeds down the road. These subsequent “rolling tests” have been implemented to thwart “curbside assistance” from a friend or relative in getting the vehicle initially started. They have also been employed to insure that the driver is not consuming alcohol while operating the vehicle.

Florida ignition interlocks use an ethanol-specific fuel cell for a sensor. The device also incorporates a miniature camera that records an image of the person submitting the breath test sample. This image, along with substantial data associated with the breath testing events, is downloaded for review every thirty days. State statues and court orders can condition a motorist’s continued privilege to drive on his successful compliance with the Florida Ignition Interlock Program.

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MADD Interlock Demo

Video: Learn How to Operate an Ignition Interlock

Websites of Interest

Things you should know about DUI

Things You Should Know about DUI

DUI lawyers reveal the most important issues.

The Russo & Russo DUI and Criminal Defense Blog

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