As things currently stand, Florida law requires that persons convicted of DUI put an ignition interlock--a portable breathalyzer--on their car only after a second DUI or an extraordinarily high breath test. Lawmakers started out to make interlocks mandatory for everyone convicted of DUI, but then decided to use the carrot instead of the stick.
The "mandatory interlock" bill which passed out of committee on March 22 got changed. Instead of requiring an interlock after every conviction, at the offenders sole expense, the law dangles a benefit. If the offender puts the interlock on his car for six months, he can get his adjudication withheld. A withheld adjudication means that there is no formal conviction, and the offense may be sealed and removed from the defendant's record after he completes his penalties.
So instead of an additional penalty, the amended statute will give accused drunk drivers a benefit if they voluntarily (or by court order) install the device on their car for six months. ABC7, WWSB in Sarasota, came out to talk with Tom about the possible change.