Florida’s Ignition Interlock Program
Florida’s Ignition Interlock Background & History
On June 27, 2003 the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles scheduled a public meeting to evaluate final proposals by ignition interlock vendors. The records of the Department reflect that formal bid solicitations were received from six different vendors. (reference bid #023-03 Ignition Interlock Device Program) Click the following link to review Alcohol Countermeasure Systems bid transmittal letter.
Click here to review Alcohol Countermeasure Systems ninety-seven page bid which includes details concerning the history and qualifications of the company, their equipment, proposed installation, service, and monitoring standards.
An “intent to award” contract was subsequently issued to Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corp. (ACS). However, on 9/2/03 DHSMV drafted a letter to the Clerk’s of Court explaining that the contract had been formally “protested” by a competing interlock provider who had lost in the earlier bidding process. As a result, the implementation of Florida’s Ignition Interlock Program was delayed beyond the anticipated 9/1/03 start-up date. Subsequent mediation in September 2003 resulted in a second provider, Livesafer Interlock, Inc. to offer its device and services exclusively within certain designated Florida Counties.
The ignition interlock models that were ultimately selected for use in Florida were required to meet standards published in the Federal Register, Volume 57, No. 67, page 11772 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In this regard, ACS offers its model WR2 Interlock Device for participants in Florida’s Ignition Interlock Program. It is interesting to note that in a previous DHSMV certificate dated May 24, 2000, the WR2 was found to fully comply with Rule 15A-9 of the Florida Administrative Code and Federal Regulatory Specifications. Thus, this same ACS device had previously been approved for use by Florida Judges back when ignition interlock installation was only a “discretionary” sentencing option.
An administrative review process commenced in the case of Lifesafer Interlock, Inc vs. DHSMV, Case No: 03-2726BID. On 9/17/03 successful mediation in this case resulted in an agreement whereby Alcohol Counter Measures, Inc. and Lifesafers Interlock, Inc. would both provide interlock service within certain designated exclusive areas of the state. That agreement was subsequently approved by Ella Jane P. Davis, Administrative Law Judge.
Current Florida Interlock Providers
- In 2005, “Alcohol Counter Measures, Inc.” restructured their international group of companies. Today, they provide ignition interlocks in Florida under their new subsidiary name of “Alcolock.”
- The people at “Guardian Interlocks” started their business in 1985 and were chosen as the first interlock provider for the state of California.
- “Smart Start Ignition Interlocks” began business in 1992. This privately held company is based out of Texas and was the first provider to offer a camera in its interlock device. Today, the state of Florida requires that all approved interlock devices incorporate a camera. The purpose of an integrated camera is to record and verify that the person operating the vehicle is the same person that provided the breath test sample.
Pinellas County Interlock Providers
Selling it to the Governor
Listen to the audio recording of Governor Bush and his Cabinet’s formal approval of the ignition interlock device on 12/16/03. The Governor reveals apparent surprise and concern about the high fees motorists will be forced to pay for the leasing and maintenance of this machine. However, a DHSMV representative assures the Governor that his approval of the device will safeguard Florida’s much-needed Federal highway funds.
Interlocks With Cameras
Russo & Russo – Attorneys
DUI & Criminal Defense