Drunk Drivers in Florida could face stiffer penalties soon

Tallahassee, Fla. – Drunken drivers in Florida could face stiffer penalties soon as a bill in the Florida house is hoping to use a new device as a stiffer penalty for first time DUI offenders. This car ignition interlock device would not start a car if the vehicle’s driver has a BAC of .05 or more.

According to Offender Severity

“The whole objective of this bill is to simply expand the utilization of this technology because it actually alters behavior and allows people to keep working and supporting their families, but it truly changes behavior and puts tighter restrictions on the alcohol limit,” Rep. Dennis K. Baxley, HB 479 Sponsor, said.

“You don’t punish somebody going five miles over the speed limit the same way you punish somebody going 40 miles over the speed limit,” said Baxley. “There are different kinds of offenders and they should be treated differently, unfortunately this kind of bill really lumps them all into the same basket.”

According to the new bill, all first time DUI offenders would be called to pass a breathalyzer test before they can start their car. The bill expands on current Florida law.

The breathalyzer device is mandatory for first time offenders who blow a point one five and for people who have committed multiple offenses.

According to the American Beverage Institute, the bill is not targeting the hardcore offenders. It is really punishing drivers who may have had one sip too many.

Last year, a similar measure was passed on the house floor but didn’t make it out of Senate committees. The bill however, made it through the House’s Transportation and Highway safety subcommittee this time

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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